Daily Office Readings for Saturday of the 3rd Week of Easter: Year 2
“Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (Colossians 3:13)
Ourselves, and God, are all we have. God never makes mistakes, and we make them all the time. We think, say, and do things that we often regret. We hurt each other, and in doing so, we hurt ourselves. Perhaps the first lesson we ought to learn is to realize when we have offended and how to respond with “I’m sorry.”
Sometimes we are taught in our families to go and tell someone “I’m sorry.” The trouble is that we didn’t realize we had offended in the first place. Sometimes our offense was intentional; sometimes it was unintentional. From our family, this idea of required apologies grows even to the national stage. I have heard national leaders say that some other country will not be pardoned unless they apologize for some wrong-doing they have done, often many years in the past. I think if I have to tell you that you have offended me, demanding you to apologize, is a waste of time, mine, and yours. The only time this is not the case is when the offense was not intended to be offensive. However when explained that it was taken as offensive, the appropriate, “I’m sorry,” is welcomed. Sometimes in my life I have had to reflect on my past behavior and realize I needed to apologize to someone. And when I realized it, I apologized accordingly.
So the words of the letter to the Colossians is worth heeding: “Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
I am at a loss as to how we can ask for forgiveness for not doing more to assist the People of Ukraine. There should be no limit to how many of their citizens we can receive and care for. There should be no limit to the amount of weaponry we provide for their military. We must take a stand against bullying. And when we can’t, we should care for those hurt by it. It’s sinful not to.
Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen. (BCP 79)
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John