June 13, 2020
Forgiveness, Healing and Reconciliation (Proper 11 A)
(Available on Youtube June 14)
We are all like Sarah and tend to laugh at God when we are promised something that sounds impossible:
· Having a child in old age
· Raising from death
· Forgiving our rebellion and sin to make us holy
But this is the business our God is in as he continues to reach out to us with the offer of forgiveness, healing and reconciliation into our eternal spiritual life with God. He knows we cannot work hard enough to overcome our natural rebellion and spiritual un-holiness. Sadly, many in the Church also laugh at God’s supernatural gifts and fail in their responsibility to bring in the full harvest of heaven. Paul challenges us to persevere in example of Father Abraham and have faith in God’s promises of forgiveness, healing and reconciliation. This is why Abraham was chosen by God as the father of our faith.
In the Lord’s Prayer we specifically ask God to forgive us only “as we forgive others”. Our un-forgiveness of others can be a curse that is unforgivable and separates us from relationship with God.
· Un-forgiveness is the most destructive sin
· Un-forgiveness separates us from God, others and our own identity as precious children of God
· Un-forgiveness can lead to bitter root judgements that blind us and place us in spiritual bondage to sin and anger
Those who take God’s promises of supernatural power to forgive sins, heal the sick and cast out demons seriously and step out in faith, learn some scary things about spiritual warfare:
· It’s real – just like in the Bible
· It’s very legalistic – you do the crime you do the time
· Sin, any un-forgiven sin, pollutes our personal spirit
· Repeated sin can pollute our personal spirit so the Holy Spirit can not live in us and guide us
· Repeated sin can cause spiritual wounding, open a spiritual doorway and give permission for evil spirits to live in us and oppress us more and more
· Spiritual oppression can grow stronger into mental bondages such as alcoholism, addictions, fundamentalism, intellectualism and liberalism – all “isms”
· Mental bondages blind people to truth so they can not really see or hear an alternative point of view
The story of the Adams Adding Machine Company illustrates the power of knowing what business you are really in. This was a small failing US firm in the business of making mechanical calculators. When the son took over computers had just been invented. The son renamed the company International Business Machines. IBM dominated the emerging computer business worldwide.
· Readings remind us that God is in the forgiveness, healing and reconciliation business
· This how we bring in the heavenly harvest