Evan Kreider welcomed the students back to Menno Simons Centre with a message – four passages from the lectionary highlighting the theme of forgiveness. The first, from Gen 50 shows Joseph’s brothers asking for forgiveness from Joseph, in a reversal of power. Through tears, forgiveness opened hearts to restitution, an essential element of forgiveness, on the way to reconciliation. Psalm 103 emphasizes God’s response to mercy is forgiveness. Romans 14, through the topic of eating meat offered to idols, asks us not to judge others. Issues today are not so much about what we eat, but about how we live – enslaved to our opinions about homosexuality or materialism. Matt 18 re-emphasizes that God will treat us the way we treat others. In the call not to judge others, we are especially challenged here at PGIMF. As a university congregation (of little bunnies?), we are aware that teaching is not about answers, but about asking the right questions, ones that may not develop an answer for months. We try to grapple with difficult issues, rather than filling in the boxes on a Sunday School quiz. Some of our questions include: does God really forgive me the way I forgive others? If that’s true, aren’t we all in trouble? Who have I not forgiven, and why? Who have I said I’ve forgiven, but have not meant it? Can forgiveness be premature? If an adulterer has erred once, the sin can be forgiven; but if 77 times, is the problem not adultery but dishonour, and unworthy of forgiveness? Can forgiveness be too cheaply earned? God grant us the grace to find the answers that grow us. [AP]
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