Wednesday, March 18, 2009

the broken image of God...

Forgiveness for me, at least on the surface, has always been easier to give than to receive. But some time ago I realized that my self-perceived willingness to forgive was more a function of my "path of least resistance" nature than the true recognition of my own brokenness and radical need for that very same forgiveness. At that point, forgiveness became not something I gave away, but passed on-not from a place of superiority, but of brokenness. And that, to quote the over quoted Robert Frost, "has made all the difference." Today's Leaflet...

"FORGIVENESS" (Scripture Reading)

AND when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Therefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
And Jesus said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. . . .
And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, -went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. . . .
And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Matt. v. Mark xi. Luke vii. John vill.

FORGIVENESS (Tilden's Meditation)

"WHEN God seems nearest and the Christ spirit dearest, we see most clearly, and feel most deeply, the divine quality of forgiveness. God is always ready to forgive, but man is not always ready to receive. God cannot bestow unless we take; and we cannot take forgiveness until we can give it away. There is no place for it in our hearts; they are not large enough to hold it, till then. Man, as he becomes Godlike, must forgive also. No wonder penitent Magdalene clung to Jesus, and felt a power come from heaven to cast out evil spirits. Even in this outcast woman, fit only to be stoned, as the self-righteous thought, Jesus saw the broken image of God, yet to be restored. A bruised reed he never broke, nor quenched a light because it flickered ; but he bound up the wounded, and fed the dying flame with the oil of hope in God.
"Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more."

May we all be able to receive, and then to give, forgiveness. Blessings

1 comment:

PeaceBang said...

Whoa. What a sermon this would be.