Given the reality of how we are, there is no long term relationship without forgiveness. We have been talking about kindness, listening and compassion--the basic foundation of loving relationships and healthy community. These are also areas where we often fall short. Jesus speaks about forgiveness as a daily reality. Is it harder for you to forgive others, or to forgive yourself?
Can you listen to someone and actually hear something new? Or do you have an established view of the person and hear them out of that framework? Jesus invites us to listen for growth and to be surprised. Does your listening open up abundant possibility?
The love teachings of Jesus are the key to our healing and fulfillment. They are not so much commandments about being righteous as lessons in how to open to love which heals and transforms us. Our teaching for Sunday is challenging. Loving those we don't like is hard. But this teaching opens the path to real love, which is always unconditional. God loves you as you are now. The invitation to be merciful even as God is merciful is transforming. Can you imagine the possibilities? We can love the way God loves! We will explore some of the obstacles to this kind of love, namely our annoyance at some people and the ways they may have disappointed us. It's hard to love through this hurt. But this unconditional love is where the power is.
In this sermon, Alexis Francisco prepared a remarkable message of healing and trusting in God. Two stories of encounters with Jesus in the tenth chapter of Mark's gospel invite us into powerful questions about finding healing in the midst of lives steeped in trauma. How do we heal the wounds that have alienated us from ourselves and one another - and what possibilities are available on the other side of that healing? The only way out is through.