As we approach the crucifixion of Christ and his Resurrection, I have been thinking of sin and forgiveness. Romans 3:23 says “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” When we think beyond our initial commitment to Christ, we see that we continue to sin. There are seven deadly sins which we hope to never commit, but there are also many sins we commit without thinking that are equally deadly to ourselves and others. What does gossip do to our listener? The one gossiped about? Our own hearts? What does commenting with disdain on the headgear of someone from another country or religion do to them if they hear us? Or to our intended listener or ourselves? Simple sins you think? But deadly to our spirits.
Our neighbors are not like us. They are from other countries, other religions, wear different dress, speak differently, maybe even take the job we hoped we would get. Do we really love our neighbors and do we even try?
There is no one like me in my cul-de-sac. Everyone has a different religion, origin, or political beliefs. But we are all children of God and we pass each other every day. We try to respect each other and look out for each other and talk to each other.
In this season of Lent I am looking for ways I can ask for forgiveness of my thoughtless word or gesture and ask forgiveness of the person I showed disrespect. Something as simple as moving your purse away from a darker person shows disrespect of someone you don’t even know.
All of us live in the Kingdom of God here on earth–in our places of worship, our neighborhoods, and work places. We must continually try to do what God wants us to do and ask forgiveness of those we hurt, intentionally or not.
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