Faith and Forgiveness
7, Mark 2:1-12)
Jesus also shows us how forgiveness is the key to healing. By first forgiving the paralyzed man, he reminds us that healing begins with forgiveness.
Forgiving someone who has wronged you. Seeking forgiveness for the mistakes that you have made. Healing just cannot happen without forgiveness.
There is an old axiom that says time heals all wounds. That is undoubtedly true, but it doesn’t say that you will be alive to see it. Believe me; you don’t have that much time. Forgive or ask for forgiveness, and get on with your life now. Don’t wait for time to take care of it; because you will surely still be bitter when your time runs out.
In Simon Birch, Joe comes back to his home town after he is grown to visit the graveyard where is mother and Simon have since been buried. And as he looks at the headstones thinks about Simon, he shakes his head and says,
“I am doomed to remember him, not because he was the
smallest person I ever knew, but because he is the reason I believe in God. What
faith I have, I owe to Simon Birch.”
And that is the legacy that we want to have also.
Not to be remembered because of what we did or accomplished in worldly terms. But to be the reason, the catalyst, that someone (maybe just one person) came also to believe in God.
To have our faith in some way help to heal another. To have our faith in some way help someone find forgiveness in their life. To have our faith in some way bring someone into the very presence of Jesus Christ.
I truly believe that is about the most important thing that we can do in life. The ultimate way in which we live the great commandment to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
We print our mission statement in the bulletin every Sunday. This morning it is on the bottom of page 10. Our mission is, Through the grace of God to help each person experience God’s love and guidance.
That is what we are to be about. And we do that primarily by how we live our faith.
We do that by extending a helping hand to another; or, by letting someone know that we are praying for them; or by inviting another person to church.
And those that come to this house, we welcome warmly. And God’s love and grace will shine through us. And Jesus will act on our faith just as he acted on the faith of the four friends in today’s gospel.
Our faith doesn’t need to be perfect – we don’t have to recite scripture or explain it in great detail. It only needs to be just enough to be seen. Enough that another person is curious enough to come and see. Come into our house of God.
And then we let the Holy Spirit do the rest.