Monday of Pentecost 7 – Prayer of the Week

O God, Your almighty power is made known chiefly in showing mercy, grant us the fullness of your grace that we may be called to repentance and made partakers of Your heavenly treasures; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with Your and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

She wanted to make him pay. I think we have all been there, hurt, outraged, and powerless to exact the vengeance we wanted. She really wanted to make him pay. He had betrayed her trust and her life was being consumed by her hurt. She could not stop talking about it, soliciting the agreement of her friends against him. But it never really got better, even when they agreed. The brokenness of heart was still there. She dreamed of settling the score, of ruining him as she felt he had ruined her. Maybe then, she hoped, she would have some relief.

For those of us who watched this transpire, it was also painful. The once cheerful and good friend became more and more bitter. He had done something wrong and there was no excusing it. But did he and his betrayal have to own her like this long after he had left her life? His cruelty just did not let go of her. Or did she not let go of it?

I met her again some years later and things were different. I was hesitant to bring it up, but she finally did. She had grown weary of carrying around the weight of her hurt. It had consumed her and made her difficult to be around. She could see it, but she could not see clear to rid herself of the burden. Finally, she offended one of her last friends. It was her fault and her friend held her accountable to what she had done.  She choked out an apology and her friend then did the unthinkable. She forgave her and in that moment of her own vulnerability this friend told her that she could forgive the one who had hurt her so long ago. Her friend did not want to carry around a burden of hurt and anger against her. Jesus had died for it. He had died for that other hurt too.

God’s almighty power is made known chiefly in showing mercy. That is a very deep truth about God. We are primed by Hollywood to imagine that great power means blowing things up or looking like Superman, Godzilla, or some other fantastic thing. But God’s almighty power was shown in Jesus dying for sins. We get to participate in that power, we all have a super-power of sorts. We are invited by God to forgive sins and thereby partake in heavenly treasures. We can repent of our own sins and be forgiven ourselves, and that enriches us to forgive our neighbor too. It is the fullness of God’s grace for you.

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