Daily Office Readings for Thursday after the First Sunday of Lent: Year 2
“Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven”, or to say, “Stand up and take your mat and walk”? (Mark 2: 9)
Even today, in most cases, medical science is not able to restore nerve tissue that enables a paralyzed person to walk again when that nerve has been severed. So forgiving others, while not impossible, is the easier of the two.
Forgiveness can be taught in the family but often a household will tend to see the incident the same way and forgiveness is hard to come by.
The below is corrected from the previous Ponder blog; and, my sincere apologies to Joanna Walters for naming her as the shooter. She actually reported the story for the Guardian.
Maybe forgiveness begins in the church with corporate pardon. The classic example of this is the Amish community of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and the milk truck driver and their school house. On 2 October 2006, 10 Amish girls were shot in their school house by Charles Carl Roberts IV who took hostages and shot eight out of ten girls (aged 6–13), killing five, before committing suicide in the schoolhouse.
Five died and five survived – and their families immediately bestowed their forgiveness.” (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/02/amish-shooting) Also, On the day of the shooting, a grandfather of one of the murdered Amish girls was heard warning some young relatives not to hate the killer, saying, “We must not think evil of this man.” Another Amish father noted, “He had a mother and a wife and a soul and now he’s standing before a just God.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Nickel_Mines_School_shooting) The point is, the Amish community has a Church that really practices what it means to forgive for healing.
We should practice forgiveness individually. But perhaps it starts in our spiritual families. The continual reading, studying, discussing and, above all, praying and practicing, forgiveness will help all of us to at least look at the healing power of forgiveness. But folks, you have to want it.
Maybe forgiveness of self and others is the first step to nerve regeneration. Maybe, just maybe, our Lord Jesus had it right all along, “Your sins are forgiven, stand up and take your mat and walk”?
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John