National Day of Forgiveness

I heard on the radio this morning that today is the "National Day of Forgiveness"*. I didn't know we had a day set aside for forgiveness - it's like prayer - shouldn't that be everyday? Of course, it makes sense. Anything that can grab our attention away from the hustle and bustle of our life and focus it on doing good in the world is worth having a special day for.

Scott & Hollie, the morning deejays at Star 99.1 asked listeners to think about what it means to forgive and call in with their stories. I am not a "spur of the moment" guy so I had to think about it for a while and put my thoughts down in writing.

The best place to start with forgiveness is by going to the source - Jesus teaches us not just about what forgiveness is but also how to do it - in one simple line. "Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us."

Forgiveness is as much selfish (in a good way) as it is selfless. We can't control if others will accept our forgiveness, we can only forgive. By forgiving we open ourselves to healing, to love, to joy. The command doesn't say "go ask if you can forgive" it is "forgive". This is the ultimate expression of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

One of my favorite artists, Matthew West, has taken the 'concept' of FORGIVENESS and made it very real. Read through these lyrics, watch the video, then head over to his website and learn a little bit about the story behind the song - and download it from iTunes!

Take a moment today to forgive. Don't expect anything in return - just forgive. You will not be disappointed.

Forgiveness
Matthew West

It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don’t deserve

It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just to real
It takes everything you have just to say the word…

Forgiveness
Forgiveness

It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness

It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it’s power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness

I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

The Lord's Prayer
Luke 11

He said to them, “When you pray, say:

“ ‘Father,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’ ”

*I don't know if today is actually Forgiveness Day - an Internet search brought up June 7, June 26, July 7 and October 26 all as "Forgiveness" days. That's ok - I need them all!

FaithBob Ferretti