Mark 2: 1-12
I was planning a completely different message, but part way through something unexpected happened. Â Read the Passage and see if you can figure out what is unexpected?
(Spoiler alert… if you read below here you know my answer – yours might be different).
What did you expect Jesus to say to the man ?
- “You are healed”
- “Get up take your stretcher and walk”
- “Can’t you see I’m busy ? “
- “Are you going to pay for repairing my roof ?”
Jesus seems to elbowing forgiveness into front and centre. Â He wants us to know that this new kingdom is not just about healing on the outside but about healing on the inside.
The good news is that God forgives us.
9Â If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 (NIV)
We kind of believe this (It’s worth reading it out loud a few times), but often don’t feel it.
The Hard news is that there is an expectation for us to forgive.
Say the Lord’s prayer together – (You might have to Â look it up)
What do you think about the phrase about forgiveness ?
Now read Mark 11:25
Read Carol Shields poem –
Happiness is the lucky pane of giass
you carry your head.
it takes all your cunning just to hang on to it,
and once it’s smashed you have to move into a different sort of life.
– Carol shields
What does it bring to mind ?
I shared that I don’t think forgiving is quick or easy. I read a prayer called the Prayer before the Prayer. Read it and discuss what it makes you think of ?
Prayer before the prayer
I want to be willing to forgive
but I dare not did not ask for the will to forgive
in case you give it to me
and I am not yet ready,
Iâ€™m not yet ready for my heart to soften
I am not yet ready to be vulnerable again
Iâ€™m not yet ready to see that there is humanity in my tormentors eyes
or the one that hurt me may also have cried
I am not yet ready for the journey, Iâ€™m not yet interested in the path
Iâ€™m at the prayer before the prayer of forgiveness
grant me the will to want to forgive
grant it to me, not yet, but soon.
I tentatively suggested
Donâ€™t rush it.
- Itâ€™s O.K. to be angry
- Remember the log in your eye (matt 7)
- Forgiveness is not forgetting.
- Not reconcilation, but itâ€™s O.K. to long for it. God does.
That forgiveness was crucial because
- It helps us escape from theÂ â€œYOUNIVERSEâ€
- After a while the grudge starts holding you.
- Unforgiveness is like drinking poison Â to kill your enemy.
- Itâ€™s not all about you !
I commended Desmond Tutu’s free forgiveness challenge course : www.humanjourney.com/forgiveness/Â – Check it out (I dare you)
Read Psalm 130Â outloud and finish by praying.