Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Lent: Service of reconciliation
Vs 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Lent is a period of reconciliation with others. Fasting is an act of worship presented to God, and God does not accept the offering and worship of a person who quarrels with others. Instead, He asks him to go and make peace with his brother before coming to worship and present offerings in front of God’s altar. Fasting is an appropriate time to evaluate our relationship with others. As we ask God to forgive us our sins, we must also forgive those who have sinned against us
Great Lent is a time for the nourishment of our inner being. Abstinence during Lent indicates the shift of focus and we give extra care to the nourishment of our spirit. During Lent, we give more time for Bible reading, meditation, and prayer so that our spirit is purified and enriched by God. Then the Holy Spirit who resides in our spirit can steadily guide us. The scripture teaches us ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ (St. Mathew 5:8).
The Bible has many passages on forgiveness. One of them is the parable of the unforgiving servant. In this parable, Jesus instructs his followers to forgive “not seven times but seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18:22). Seventy times seven is a symbolic representation of an unlimited amount. One could never afford to cease to forgive and seek forgiveness. This is an ever-continuing process. The parable in Matthew 18: 21-35, teaches us that we have been first forgiven and encourages us to forgive in turn. This is a composite picture of the kingdom of heaven, and the kingdom we practice, both of which are driven by forgiveness.
“Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). This fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer is also echoed in the lesson of this parable. We ought to forgive others as our Lord has forgiven us. Forgiveness, which we received from God our King is what he expects from his subjects in their dealings with each other.
The first step in our journey through Lent must be this act of mutual forgiveness, of reconciling ourselves to one another in the context of the holy community in which we shall grow and advance together. Let’s use this time of lent to forgive our brothers and sisters from our heart.
May God grant us a blessed lent by which we can grow in a life of prayer and repentance.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you. Luke 6: 37
Marthoma Church of Greater Washington
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church