Finding the Heart of Forgiveness

“The heart of forgiveness is not to be found in excusing harm or allowing it to go unchecked. It is found, rather, in choosing to say that although our wounds will change us, we will not allow them to forever define us. Forgiveness does not ask us to forget the wrong done to us but[…]


Time and Place

When  is “the time fulfilled” with forgiveness? And what is its “holy ground?” The painfully honest, deeply hopeful story of Lamont Hatton and William Little shared in the Philadelphia Daily News several weeks ago (After 20 years) offers us access for exploring these questions in some depth.  It is a story to be attentively received; and[…]


Always Yes!

“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you . . . was not “Yes and No”; but in him, it is always “Yes.”  For in him every one of God’s promises is a “Yes.”  — 2 Corinthians 1:19-20


Fidelity

A decade ago, on an early December day, I received a call from the local funeral director.  A man from the neighboring town had died after an extended illness.  He was a Vietnam veteran who had long suffered symptoms of trauma from his war experience.  The family had no pastor: was I available?  I was[…]


Squarely Facing the Unforgivable

“It is in the face-to-face with the impossible–the irreparable and the non-negotiable–that the possibility of forgiveness arises, and just when one feels one has reached the end of the road in making the last step, one finds oneself walking on, making the impossible step, turning aside, turning about, turning toward.  One truly forgives only when[…]


Applying God’s Forgiveness to the Sin of Racism

  Some of the Pharisees near him said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?”  Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’  your sin remains.  –John 9:40-41  Those of us who are white Christians in America need to accept God’s[…]


Nelson Johnson on Forgiveness

  “My hope for Greensboro is that this horrific experience, this tragedy in the taking of five lives, can be transformed by the power of the Spirit, into a case where there is more generosity, and more justice, and more respect for the essence and the dignity of humankind.”  –Rev. Nelson Johnson Reverend Nelson Johnson[…]


Forgiving Place

“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man  has nowhere to lay his head.” –Luke 9:58  Jesus demonstrates the remarkable capacity to be “at home” everywhere.  It is a defining characteristic of his ministry.  Jesus’  practice of forgiveness is  manifested in an openness and availability to all  people[…]


A Way of Being

Let me suggest that we consider forgiveness as a “way of being:’”  being with one another; being with the world; and being with ourselves. Such a way necessarily (1) impacts our ability to enter into the experiences of others (2) empowers us to offer hospitality and receive the “other” gratefully (3) equips us to make[…]


The Accountability of Love

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”–John 21:16 “Doesn’t forgiveness let people off the hook ?, ” I am regularly asked; “What will make someone accountable for their actions if they are forgiven before they actually change?”  This leads to many fruitful discussions.  For the purpose of this post, let me cut to the[…]


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