Power of Forgiveness

exploring the power and nature of forgiveness

Forgiveness is God’s power to remove barriers, to lift burdens, to loosen bonds, and to set people free. It is the expression and the experience of God’s radical grace…

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Where All of Us Belong(s)

  As we rise early on this Good Friday morning, I imagine that Simon Peter has not yet slept. Last night at dinner he insisted that even if one of the other disciples would betray Jesus, he would not. In the ensuing argument over who was the greatest, the strongest, and the most faithful, he had not given an inch. It was Jesus himself who had punctured his friend’s intensity: “Simon . . . Simon . . . listen. Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat.” Simon Peter’s vulnerability, fallibility, and his common condition with all the others were fact. Jesus continued: “But I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned...

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  • Something Entirely Different

    ” . . . God likes us so much that he has, in a sense, made available in our midst a way to dis-entangle us from the mess we inhabit, before we even knew that it was a mess, and instead has invited us to share with God, at the same level as ourselves, in making something entirely different, together.” –James Alison, Undergoing God: dispatches from the scene of the break-in “What about justice?,” is a question I have fielded often. If God’s forgiveness is indeed endless (or so I say), how will that lead to justice? Doesn’t forgiveness let offenders off the hook? How will things be made right? These are reasonable questions, often conveying the deepest respect and compassion for those victimized. Such...

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  • Where All of Us Belong(s)

      As we rise early on this Good Friday morning, I imagine that Simon Peter has not yet slept. Last night at dinner he insisted that even if one of the other disciples would betray Jesus, he would not. In the ensuing argument over who was the greatest, the strongest, and the most faithful, he had not given an inch. It was Jesus himself who had punctured his friend’s intensity: “Simon . . . Simon . . . listen. Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat.” Simon Peter’s vulnerability, fallibility, and his common condition with all the others were fact. Jesus continued: “But I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned...

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  • Memorial Day Reflection

      When you visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, you descend a pathway at the base of two black granite walls inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 American servicepeople who died in that war.  The two walls form a kind of broad “V,”  like wings, one pointing south toward the nearby Lincoln Memorial , the other northward almost directly at the Washington Monument.  The Memorial is set into the earth, and as you walk from either direction the height of the wall increases along with the number of names.  The site becomes a place of deep devotion and heart-rending reflection for those who enter.  People set flowers, pictures, and other items at the foot of the wall near the names of their...

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  • Not As The World Gives: gratitude for the peacemaking life of Daniel Berrigan

    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.” –John 14:27 On the first Sunday in May, I woke early for prayer and final preparation of a dialogue sermon on peace. The text was to be John 14:23-29, with particular attention to verse 27. Jesus gifts his disciples with peace in the midst of the most frightening and dangerous of times. He bestows his peace in a way and with a substance radically different than the “peace” purportedly offered by the world. Upon rising I received the news that Daniel Berrigan had died that Saturday, just short of his 95th birthday. I realized that Dan’s life was an extraordinary exposition of the peace...

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