All writing is a form of prayer - John Keats

Saturday, April 16, 2022

On Easter and forgiveness, or lack thereof

Our pastor recently completed a sermon series for Lent on the topic of forgiveness. I’m so happy that I could hear those inspiring messages on Sunday, because in my world, I don’t hear much about forgiveness on weekdays. 

When we ask for forgiveness as we recite the Lord’s Prayer, we piously promise God that we, too, will “forgive those who trespass against us.” But when the prayer is over, and real-life situations develop, we seem to forget all about that vow. 

-Families and loved ones of crime victims refuse to forgive the perpetrator, arguing that the victim doesn’t get a second chance. Why should that person who committed the crime have such an opportunity? 

-Readers and viewers of crime stories in the news express their anger and disgust. “Lock ‘em up and throw away the key,” or, “I’d be the first one to throw the switch” on the electric chair. 

-Prosecutors and judges, while ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to resentence those prisoners who received life without parole for crimes they committed as juveniles, resist at every turn. Regardless of how undeveloped the brain was at the time of the crime, regardless of how lengthy stays in prison have changed lives, acts and thoughts of forgiveness are elusive. Revenge and retribution reign. 

In this business, we hear stories of no forgiveness every day. 

Somehow, we didn’t pay much attention to some important Easter week stories. 

We weren’t listening when Jesus asked the Father to forgive a bunch of brutal, cruel soldiers who whipped him, teased him and spat on him: “...for they know not what they do.” 

We didn’t really pay any attention to Jesus’ last-minute pardon of a hardened criminal on the cross next to him: “Today you will be with me in paradise.” 

Yet, we’re not ashamed or embarrassed to freely accept the forgiveness we received when death was defeated some 2,000 years ago. 


I pray that the message of Easter, 2022, finally makes an impact.

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