Monday, March 24, 2014

Looking Forward to March 30, 2014 -- Lent 4, Lord's Prayer Series #3 -- Forgiveness

The Scripture Reading this week is Matthew 18:21-35

We will also hear a reading from page 141 of the book Free of Charge by Miroslav Volf.

The Sermon title is Lord, Teach Us to Pray: Forgive as We Forgive  

Early Thoughts: "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us"  I have heard multiple people suggest that this is the line from the Lord's Prayer that causes them the most struggle.

Forgiveness is central to our life as Christians.  Both accepting and offering forgiveness is essential to life in community.  And yet forgiveness (both accepting and offering it) is often a real challenge for many of us.  Dare I say for all of us?

One of the threads that is running through my mind as I begin to prepare for this Sunday is what I wrote in this column that appeared in the Daily Herald Tribune last Friday.  The big question about this phrase is, as it was last week about "thy Kingdom come, thy will be done", do we really mean that? Do we really only want to be forgiven as well as we forgive?  Do we really think we forgive that well?

The other thread in my thoughts this week is about a very practical exercise in forgiveness and truth-telling.  At the end of this week (March 27-30) many people will gather in Edmonton for the 7th and final National Event for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  In the end the TRC process is closely tied to our understanding of forgiveness.  Is it possible without the truth being told, acknowledged, and known?  Is it possible at all given some of the stories that have been told at past events, and will be told this weekend?

Our time for all ages this Sunday will talk about the Residential Schools (hopefully I can find the story book I want to use but have not used in many years).  And then we will see how I can weave the TRC into the sermon.

Come and find out how good a job I do!!!

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