World for the day for Christian Education Forum
Shubkono: Service of Reconciliation during Great Lent
St. Matthew 18:18-27
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. v. 19
One of the key central themes we see in our faith is “forgiveness”. We learn this early in our childhood and we hear it in almost every sermon. The Lord’s Prayer even asks us to “forgive our debtors”. In this passage, the Apostle Peter asks our Lord “how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?” v. 21. Our Lord replies “seventy-seven times”. Because of our fallen sinful nature, we are unable to satisfy the requirements that God requires of us. We are unable to pay off our debts and God takes pity on us and cancels that very debt. This is the example we should take towards others even if they hurt us. But do we really think of forgiveness this way? Are we willing to take a financial or social-standing hit if we follow the example of Christ? It is harder than we think because we are so tied to this world, and we naturally tend to look out for ourselves first. We see in scripture that God can transform hearts and a create a new spirit within them. Just as the king who forgave the servants debts, we must also forgive others out of love, compassion, and mercy because our Lord Jesus did the same for us, and his forgiveness resulted in His death on the cross.
Our church has a service called “Shubkono” that is performed on the first Monday of Great Lent in our parishes. All members of the church gather to ask for forgiveness from each other, both clergy and laity alike. We give each other the kiss of peace and ask God for his forgiveness and blessing upon the congregation as they enter the Great Fast. This is truly a beautiful and commemorative way to put this topic of forgiveness into action. Let us attempt to put our faith into action.
Lord, we pray for your forgiveness as we start this Lenten journey for the next 50 days. Transform our hearts and minds that we will come closer to You. Empower us with your Holy Spirit. Amen
Thought for the Day
Are we willing to take a financial or social-standing hit if we follow the example of Christ?
Mr. Sims Chacko
Chicago Mar Thoma Church