Forgiveness isn’t about saying, merely, “It’s all good!” It’s rather about saying, “It was all bad! Really bad. And I am justifiably angry about it. And I refuse to let your actions or my anger about them define you or me.” That might mean, however, that the relationship in which the harm occurred needs to end or that contact with the perpetrator cease, both so that the harm doesn’t continue, and so that forgiveness can indeed take place.
Forgiveness is not about naiveté. It is instead about moving forward with grace and compassion, including even for oneself. Easter reveals that God is not in the business of death – the death of the sinner or the death of the one sinned upon. Lingering in a cycle and circumstance of perpetual death only continues to cede death the win.
Instead, Easter frees us to seek healing, not only by forgiving, but also by moving out and moving on, to transform and be transformed. Easter reveals God’s agenda.
This message is excerpted from “’Es bringt aber nichts’” by Anna Madsen in the September 2016 Gather magazine. Today is the 16th Sunday after Pentecost. Today we commemorate Hildegard, Abbess of Bingen, 1179.
There’s still time to register to attend the Just Love Gathering in Phoenix, Arizona, September 21-24, 2023. Will we see you there?
Copyright © 2023 Women of the ELCA. Inquiries for permission to reproduce should be directed to [email protected].