Sunday, June 6, 2010

Why Forgive?

J started out the day fine but then started crying while waiting for breakfast. Kept wanting me to pick him up. Maybe he was just super hungry because he was okay once he had his pancakes. He wanted to play downstairs in our art area. Did some coloring with crayons and then washable markers. He took his picture and said "hang it up" so I put it on the wall like we do with his finger paintings. I have to watch him carefully now when he's coloring since he's started to try coloring other things like the table, the wall. I also set up the mini trampoline and he had fun jumping, but then he started coloring on there too until I caught him.

Today in my devotional time, Beth moves past chapter 14 and started Luke 15. "Lost and found things." It's amazing, Beth says, that the creator of the universe pursues us. She refers to Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. In this chapter is the story of the prodigal son. He left his father with his fortune and squandered everything then became destitute and took care of pigs. He went home thinking he could be a servant to his father and it would be better than his lot. When his father saw him coming, instead of turning his back on him, he RAN to him. This is a mirror for our relationship to God. He yearns for us to return when we stray from him and he welcomes us back with open arms. How can we resist such lavish love? says Beth. Because of our wonderful God, the prodigal can say "I once was lost, but now am found."

The forecast called for more rain but it ended up being really nice out so we packed a lunch and headed down to the UW Terrace again. There was some bike marathon going on so traffic was just horrible. We probably wasted a half hour. Then we maybe spent a half hour there on the terrace. We had our lunch and then J and I went on the giant terrace chair. Soon after, the weather started to change drastically. It got super dark so we decided to head out. It started raining soon after we got in the car. J didn't go down very well for his afternoon nap. This was after he got a shorter nap in the morning because he cried off and on. I went in to check on him and he dropped his blankie and nuk so I got those, then he was asking to watch a video. I asked if he could lay back to sleep and he said okay and lay down. I was surprised he did that! He did start to cry a bit and kept going but then finally dropped off.

Today was the last sermon in our Forgiveness series. It was on "Why Forgive?" Since people hurt us all the time, what should be our response? As those who profess to follow Christ, we need to forgive. A couple stories were shared about incredible instances of forgiveness, where it was amazing they were able to forgive the person who hurt them. He brought in Ephesians 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. These are often feelings that we harbor within us when we are unable to forgive. He said forgiveness is really messy because of the hurt in our lives and others. To have forgiveness as a way of life he said we first do not ignore that it happened. Whenever there is a serious infarction against us, there is a debt owed. We can remember how Jesus paid our debt on the cross and we are to then let it go. It is hardest to do this when the person is unrepentant, yet that is what we are called to do. Our burden (of unforgiveness) that eats away at us is lifted. We were invited to come to the front of the church and take a handful of dirt and drop it in a pail which was symbolic of letting go of unforgiveness. I think this was a good way to visualize really letting go.

After church, we went out to dinner with our life group friends and their kids. After J ate, he played a run and hide game with us as the adults got to hang out and catch up. J would come and peek around the corner and I'd jump in my seat and he'd run away squealing, or he'd peek up at us from another booth and squeal with delight when we responded.


tea said...

I think forgiveness is something I'm needing to work on. I don't mean to be unforgiving, but I tend to hang on to hurts and they continue to hurt me..I guess that is because I haven't truly forgiven. That's hard. I need Jesus to teach me how to let go.

That's such a sweet picture of you two!

Tracey Monroe said...

Thank you for your openness, Tea. I go through that too. I think I've forgiven and then a memory surfaces and I'm facing anger and pain again. I'm finding I have to "keep forgiving" unless Jesus shows me how to have it disappear.

tea said...

That makes a lot of sense, Tracey. I think that's what I need to do to. I'm so glad I found your blog and have gotten to follow along with you. It's been such a blessing! :)

Tracey Monroe said...

And you have blessed me more than you know!

tea said...

thanks :)

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