Love itself may be at stake. If we are unable to forgive one another, we will not be able to love.
Perhaps this is why we can declare with confidence that God is love; it is because, first, God is forgiving.
With so much at risk, God will see to it that love does not leave room for resentment. Instead, God will lead in the cause of mercy.
Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
When I was a young girl, "forgiveness" was a very mysterious idea that had little to do with my day-to-day life. I understood that forgiveness meant my sins were washed as “white as snow," and I knew that somehow it meant that I was supposed to forgive my friends when they didn’t share their toys or said mean things to me on the playground. When my feelings were hurt I was supposed to simply "forgive and forget"! While these all may be valuable aspects of forgiveness, it seemed as though the three words “I forgive you” were often said through a forced smile with Mom and Dad nodding approval from a distance.
The woman in our story experienced God’s forgiveness, and this propelled her to "show great love."
God’s forgiveness propels us to love the girl at school who spread the nasty rumor about us. God’s forgiveness propels us to show kindness to our friend who didn’t show up when they promised they would. God’s forgiveness propels us to forgive others, to show great love.
Source of great love, I pray that today I may receive your forgiveness and be propelled to love the world around me. Amen.
There's a gate just ahead, inviting you to pass through. It is marked "Forgiveness." It leads the way to acceptance, confirmation, recognition, being embraced and held. It takes you down the pathway that brings you love.
Reach out and open easily the latch. Step lightly through the gate's portal. Our forgiving God welcomes you there.