It seems right on the eve of 9/11 to begin doing some thinking about forgiveness. Where are we as a nation? Ten years later as a country, have we forgiven our enemies or are we still fixated on making wrongs right? Are we any more free than we were ten years ago? Or are we in bondage to fear, hate and terror?
Watch any 9/11 news program or look at our defense budget, and you will have your answer: there is much work of forgiveness yet to be done.
Tomorrow at Washington Plaza, we’ll be doing some conversing with the gospel lectionary for the day taken from Matthew 18: 21-35. It’s a passage that calls into question our normal human response to being wronged: retribution. Instead Jesus invites us into a way of life where we simply have no interest in keeping score.
One of my favorite teachers on the topic of forgiveness is Bishop Desmund Tutu. Coming from a scenario in his homeland of South Africa where he had every “right” to hate those who oppressed him and his fellow black citizens, Bishop Tutu choose a different way. He chose to forgive so that the pain of the past did not destroy what could be his future.
Watch this short clip and I look forward to seeing many of you tomorrow.