Give and Rejoice at the Life that Has Been Given to Us

Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things that Jesus tells us to do. But if we are followers of Jesus, we simply must forgive, but why?
In Jesus we see a simple anthropology, a philosophy about what it means to be a human being, anthropos in Greek is human being. We are made to bear God’s image, to be like God is in the world. In Jesus, we see that expressed in three language sets: kingdom, family, and stewardship.
As a kingdom, God is our king. Kings set boundaries, provide law and order, and provide for their people.  Kings care for their people. When we live in the boundaries God provides, by his law, and in his care we are part of his Kingdom. It is really simple. Jesus is like the embodiment of a king, but a very different king than the sort we are used to. He is forgiving and healing. His law is a law of love. And we are asked to be like him.
As a family, we are adopted or made part of God’s family by the work of the Holy Spirit in us. (John 1) As we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us, Jesus tells us in John’s Gospel that the Spirit will remind us of what Jesus has taught, will convict us, and reassure us, guide us and pray in us. As we allow the Spirit to do these things we will act as God’s sons and daughters, bringing the joy and peace of our family to others. 

As stewards, the two previous language sets dovetail in the image of a household left in our care while the master is away. The Master is God, who has left us his house to attend to. But we attend to his house, the things of course but primarily the people, in the way that the Master of the house would do if they were present. 
In each of these language sets, we are to be like God: living as his subjects, embodying our family’s way of being, and care for the household of God. In each of these we are asked to take on the character of God. 
One of the chief characteristics of God we see in scripture is mercy or forgiveness. We are to be merciful and forgiving to be part of God’s kingdom, family, and household. If we are not, then we simply are not a part of those realities in the same way that if we are not willing to do addition, we are not able to be a part of mathematics. It is not condemnation so much as reality that keeps us from God.
This past Sunday, we saw clearly how merciful God is and how important it is to be merciful. The next characteristic of God we will consider this week is generosity. Again, to be generous is to be God’s. So find ways to practice this weekend as we give thanks to God who forgives us and gives us all we need to reach out to others.
Consider supporting Episcopal Relief and Development, Samaritan’s Purse, or another outreach ministry. Support our upcoming Medical Mission to Honduras. Give and rejoice at the life that has been given to us.