Forgive me for not writing more. I know there are at least 2 people on the entire internet who have read this blog of mine.
Forgiveness, it seems to me is the most potent of all mental, emotional, social, and spiritual transactions that can take place. Nothing else has the power to do what true forgiveness can do. Forgiveness is something we are all in need of. No one who might ever read this (inluding the 2) can ever live very long at all without needing forgiveness for something.
It’s been said that to forgive is to set a prisoner free, only to realize that the prisoner was you.
Forgiveness was/is the chief purpose of the earthly life of Christ. And with Christmas a mere 5 days away, it seems fitting to sit a moment and soak in the reality of that fact. With all the attention on the manger, we ought to think about why the manger, why the advent, why the human birth of the Son of God, wherever it happened, was necessary? We give lots of attention to stars, and shepherds, and a virgin, and an inn, and angels, and wisemen, and gifts. But why would God stoop so low? Ironically enough, it’s quite easy for me (especially at this time) to focus so much on the birth of Christ that I literally miss the reason for the birth of Christ. And the reason was and is for the act of forgiveness. Nothing more, nothing less.
We’re told clearly in the Bible that Jesus came “to seek and to save that which was lost.” But that “lostness” is due to our need for forgiveness. It is we who are the offenders. It is humans who are the selfish ones. It is God who is selfless enough to give up His Son for the likes of me.
I’ve had recent situations in my life where forgiveness was necessary in both directions; both giving and receiving. And how anyone can withhold something given by God so freely is beyond my current ability to understand. When I grasp my need to be forgiven by God and find that He is more than willing time and time again to pour out that forgiveness, then I find that giving that forgiveness to those who need it from me is more than a pleasure; it is the very reflection of God.
This Christmas season, my prayer for myself and my family is that we will look beyond the manger to the reason that a child was placed in it at all.