Most nights I tuck in our two older kids for bed. We read stories, the Bible, and pray together before they lay down. We always end our prayers with the Lord’s Prayer. A few nights ago, my son (who just turned 5), after finishing the Lord’s Prayer, said, “Dad, what’s forgive us our trespasses mean?”
I was kind of caught off guard, because he’s in a bit of a phase right now, where he says the prayer…kind of…Instead of saying the actual words he just mumbles non-sensical, guttural, noises in place of real words but with the same number of syllables. I know he knows the words, and obviously, he proved that to me by asking that question.
How would you explain it to a 5 year old?
Here’s what I said, “That’s a good question buddy. Trespasses is another word for sin. Do you remember what that word means?”
“Yes. It’s when you do something bad,” he said.
“Right, when we do something that God doesn’t want us to do. Remember, how I’ve told you that I will always, always love you?”
“I will always love you and I will always forgive you. There’s nothing that you could ever do that would stop me from loving you. Just like that, but even bigger, God will always always love every one of us. That’s why Jesus died on the cross. To forgive us.”
“Okay. Goodnight,” he said.
I’m pretty sure I got through to him! LOL!
On Sunday, we will read part of the story of Joseph forgiving his brothers in the book of Genesis 50:15-21, after they had left him for dead. You can take a look at it here:
15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: 17 ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people[a] should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
We’re holding onto a lot of anger. I know we are. We walk around through our lives with that heaviness in our hearts, our guts, our minds. We think nasty thoughts about people. We don’t understand why they had to treat us in such a way.
Some of us are still mad at ourselves for acting the way that we did. We can’t get over ourselves. So we beat and berate ourselves for our own sins. We look in the mirror and can’t stand to see who we see.
There is an antidote to all this anger. It’s called forgiveness.
It sounds simple.
But I know that we all need this upcoming week to put it into practice.
For a little preview, if you missed it, on Ash Wednesday we introduced this theme and you can see that sermon here.
Sunday, March 17th, we will expand this lesson to another level. For now, go in God’s peace. You are forgiven!
Have a blessed rest of your week “Being.”
Alive in Christ!