Friday, April 18, 2014

Families and Forgiveness - Part 2

Friday, April 18, 2014
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.  Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  Colossians 3:13 (NLT)
What’s so good about writing a daily blog is whenever you have finished writing and posting today, if you find there’s a better way to say it, or if you could have said more but ran out of space….well, there’s always tomorrow.  Well, here’s part 2 about the forgiveness of my Uncle Charlie.
Today is Good Friday, the day of the beatings, mocking, cross-carrying, nails in the hands and feet, suffering, death and burial of our Lord. 
Where does Uncle Charlie fit in here?  (Beside the fact that, like so many of you, Uncle Charlie believed in the gift of Jesus’ suffering and death to bring our salvation).
Here are a couple things I didn’t get to say yesterday about the gift of forgiveness:
1.      Like God’s gift of the cross, Uncle Charlie gave to me something very dear to him.  My uncle had carried that gun through Europe and kept it safe since before I was born.  And when he gave it there were no strings attached.  That speaks very much of how loved I was, both by God and my uncle.
2.      When I came home without that gun I knew I’d messed up by losing my uncle’s treasure.  There was nothing I could do to “un-do” what had been done, or repay or replace the irreplaceable.  I also knew I could never live this one down; I would be “that kid who lost Uncle Charlie’s piece of history”.  But when I came to him, broken hearted, he simply said “what gun”?  Like God says to me now, what sin?
3.      When the gracious heart and hand of forgiveness was extended to me by an earthly uncle, it became my example and pattern to do that for others.  And it serves as a pattern for the calling of proclaiming and extending the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all persons.
There’s a bond which develops between those forgiven and those who have forgiven them.  That bond transcends keeping score; you just know there’s not much better trust than that. 
Over the years as I grew into the forgiveness extended to me, I learned to minister to others.  All along the way I had the prayers of my Aunt and Uncle, and during some dark times near the end of their lives I was given the privilege of ministering to them.
Today…for you
As you prepare for the darkness of Good Friday and then the glorious resurrection of Easter Sunday, let me encourage you to do the work of making room for others in your heart. 
You’ll be surprised how much stronger your voice will be when it’s time to shout, He is risen, indeed!

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