“The leaders said back to Jesus, “What sign are you going to show us, since you’re doing these things?” Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple, and I’ll raise it back up in three days.” But Jesus was talking about the temple of his body.” –John 2:18-19, 21 Jesus comes to the great Temple in Jerusalem at the time of Passover. It is a scene the synoptic writers place in the narrative of Holy Week. But John frontloads his gospel with the story, a way of saying, “This is who Jesus is, and why he comes.” In one of the most stunning acts of his ministry, Jesus enters the place identified as “God’s house” and dramatically interrupts the whole religious operation. He invades with the force of...
God is a lover who receives everything, forgives everything. The Gospel says, “You will know the mystery of salvation through the forgiveness of sin” (Luke 1:77). “Fore-given” means being given to beforehand, before you earned it, were worthy of it, or maybe even asked for it. Forgiveness breaks down the entire world of meritocracy. –Richard Rohr, in Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer
“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 instead to resist the ways it seeks to get its poisonous hooks into us. Forgiveness asks us to acknowledge and reckon with the damage so that we will not live forever in its grip.” —Jan Richardson, in The Painted Prayerbook Image: Forgiving(c) Jan Richardson
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 pondered. Let’s examine the power at work in the lives of these two: one, a killer who after a decade in prison returned home to engage a new way of living; the other, a person who had wanted to to take revenge on his brother’s killer for more than two decades but instead confronted him with forgiveness. Must there be a specific time and place to forgive? In March of...
“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