by Robbie Sanderson
Now that the theme for the season of Lent is now established, it is time to begin the journey of figuring out what that means. What impact does forgiveness have on our lives? How does one forgive? Why does it have to take this long? Well, forgiveness is a heavy topic to wrap our minds around. In fact, it is quite unlikely that any of us will ever fully understand the gravity of this wonderful gift. Before any of us can even begin to try and understand, we first need to define forgiveness.
To forgive, as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is, “1. To cease to feel resentment against,” and, “2. To grant relief from payment of.” This is quite profound, no? It is profound because our cultural understanding of forgiveness is different. In my reflections of American culture, I have noticed that forgiveness is something one does when apologized to. For example, to use “forgiveness” in a conversation, it would go something like this: “Hey,” says the one person. “I’m sorry for saying what I said.”
“It’s okay,” says the other. “I forgive you.”
Profound, huh? Not really.
The act of forgiveness (because it is a verb) requires a cease in resentment, and likewise a removal or relief of debt. It is something we do not see very much of, and likewise something we have trouble with ourselves. Thankfully, God has no trouble with it. He perfected it. That is why we spend forty days to reflect on it during this season. Pray that through this Lenten series, God will help us all to grasp this countercultural understanding of what it means to truly forgive. Also, pray that God will grant more of an understanding of His own forgiveness as we anxiously await the celebration of His triumph over death.