Lenten Devotion (3/9)

Monday, March 9th

Reflections on Forgiveness

“Forgive us our sin, as we forgive those who sin against us. This petition really means that God does not wish to regard our sin and punish us as we daily deserve but to deal graciously with us, to forgive as God has promised, and thus to grant us a joyful and cheerful conscience so that we may stand before God in prayer…There is, however, attached to this petition a necessary and even comforting addition, ‘as we forgive our debtors.’ God has promised us assurance that everything is forgiven and
pardoned, yet on the condition that we also forgive our
— Luther on the Fifth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, Large Catechism

“Forgiveness acknowledges our common humanity and holds open a door for the future. But it also calls things by their true names. It isn’t timid but fearless. It’s neither mealymouthed nor abusive, but straightforward. It doesn’t seek to harm others by telling the truth, but neither does it refrain from telling the truth just because someone might be inconvenienced or their wrongs brought to light. Forgiveness assumes a bold and engaged way of living…God forgives all alike. As we learn forgiveness, we find ourselves participating in the very life of God and therefore living with the kind of boldness that befits children of God’s own household.”
— L. William Countryman, Forgiven and Forgiving

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