Today is the beginning of Lent. I invite you to come along with the good people of my church and spend the next six weeks at the cross. We are going to listen to Jesus’ last words and let them sink down deep. Every day until Easter there will be a verse and short reflection, based on the seven last words of Christ. I pray they are a blessing to you during this special time of year.
Word of Forgiveness:
“Father, forgive them
for they do not know
what they are doing.”
Forgive: to grant a pardon, to cancel a debt, to cease to feel resentment against
“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sin, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:12-15
A four year old girl who was learning to recite the Lord’s Prayer was heard saying, “Forgive us our trash baskets, as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.” That’s actually a very wise interpretation. We all have trash in our baskets, both our self-made trash and garbage that’s been tossed in there by others. God is always willing to “take out our trash” and forgive. Can we do the same?
Jesus didn’t sugarcoat the importance of forgiveness. In fact, the pardon we receive from Christ is inseparably linked to our willingness to forgive others. It’s a package deal. Thankfully, His example teaches us that forgiving others and receiving God’s pardon are matters of prayer. God will help us with this when we go to Him.
Let’s begin this Lenten season by letting our gracious Father empty out our trash baskets. Is there someone you need to forgive? Is there an offense you need to confess to the Father? Don’t delay!
Lord, today at the start of this Lenten journey, I want to come clean and confess some things to You. And also, I ask You to lift the burden of my unforgiveness toward others. Help me to release them into Your hands, even as I take hold of Your gracious pardon.