Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Bungling Duffers

When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
"Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?"
Jesus turned and rebuked them,
and they journeyed to another village.
(Luke 9:51-56)

How often do we ask the Lord “to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”  Anger or jealousy can lead us to make that request.    Jesus rebukes us.

The irony is that the “them” is us when we let anger and jealousy consume us.  Those fires burn us from inside out.  Those fires can be doused through forgiveness.

As noted in the 1996 book “Forgive & Forget: Healing the Hurt We Don’t Deserve,” (Lewis B. Smedes), “When you forgive someone for hurting you, you perform spiritual surgery inside your soul; you cut away the wrong that was done to you so that you can see your ‘enemy’ through the magic eyes that can heal your soul.  Detach that person from the hurt and let it go, the way a child opens his hands and lets a trapped butterfly go free.”  

Smedes concludes: “If you are trying to forgive; even if you manage forgiving in fits and starts, if you forgive today, hate again tomorrow, and have to forgive again the day after, you are a forgiver.  Most of us are amateurs, bungling duffers sometimes.  So what?  In this game nobody is an expert.  We are all beginners.”

Forgiveness is the fire extinguisher Jesus hand us.

Deacon David Pierce

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