The Healing Journey: Forgiveness and Absolution
This is the final part of Rev. Dr. Randall Partin's Lenten series "The Healing Journey". Each week during Lent, Rev. Partin preached on ways that we could mend broken relationships in our lives. On the final Sunday, his wife (and St. John's Mental Health Counselor) Dr. Susan Brumbaugh preached a sermon on forgiveness. The congregation was given the following "homework" so they could continue to work on forgiveness in their own lives throughout the week.
To forgive: To pardon an offense or to cease to feel resentment To pardon: to absolve from the consequences of a fault or crime or to allow an offense to pass without punishment
To reconcile: to settle a quarrel or dispute; to bring into agreement or harmony. Requires both offering and receiving forgiveness.
God who forgives us,
God whose forgiveness
leads us back into relationship:
with the grace we have received from you
Let us work to mend
what forgiveness makes possible.
May we stress not a desire to be proved right,
but a desire to make right
what still needs forgiven.
-Prayer from the Corrymeala Community
Scripture | Luke 23: 33-34; 36-38
33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
Reflection: A Journey to Forgiveness
Post this verse in a place where you will see it (such as your refrigerator or bathroom mirror):
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you”. (Ephesians 4:32)
Read Psalm 51. Pray that the Holy Spirit would mold and shape you. Be open to ways in which the Holy Spirit might bring to mind someone that you need to forgive.
What next steps do you need to make to reconcile or to forgive someone in your life? Pray that God would help you to let go of anger and resentment.
Adapted by St. John’s UMC from resources created by Rev. Roger R. Sonnenberg