From the Pastor

A Message From Pastor Miranda Denler

Forgiveness is not always about how others have wronged us, but it’s also a time to recognize how we have harmed others. This is the difficult lesson we have been struggling with as a Sunday School class recently. We are reminded that to be in relationship with other people means that we have often made mistakes. This is a difficult realization. It’s much easier to turn to others, see their faults, and point them out, than it is to plumb the depths of our own soul. United Methodist Communications is releasing a series of resources to help families discuss issues of faith. Their most recent article is titled “I’m sorry” and focuses on the need to recognize the hurt we’ve caused in others. You can see the entire article using the link below.

Get Them Talking: I’m sorry | The United Methodist Church (umc.org)

Using Matthew 5:23-24, we are reminded that Jesus taught us to get our relationships straightened out before we come before God to worship. Repeatedly the Bible teaches us that God wants sincere worship more than just routine showing up. Part of the sincerity is seeing ourselves, including our failures, fully. We want a gilded mirror that shows us only the best part of ourselves, but God wants all of who we are when we come to worship. It’s more than just how we look when we enter the building, but also where are heart is at. If we have caused harm to another, then it would be impossible to stand before God with sincerity in worship until we have addressed that harm.

Here’s both the easy and hard solution to the problem: we have to say, “I’m sorry.” It’s simple in that it’s such a short phrase. There’s no need for excuses or explanations, we simply say that we are sorry, feel that remorse, and listen to the impact our actions made on the ones we have hurt. When we walk away from that conversation both parties are better for it. We commit to doing better next time and the offended party has been heard. The hard part is admitting we did wrong in the first place. As a recovering perfectionist, I certainly don’t want to admit my wrong doings, yet that’s exactly what God calls me to do.

The article mentioned above is short and sweet, with easy discussion questions you can use in your household to have an honest conversation about what it means to say, “I’m sorry.” Lent is the perfect time to reevaluate our understanding of forgiveness by admitting that we often need forgiveness more often than we are called to give it. Rather than giving up something for Lent, we can pick up a new habit of admitting when we’ve done wrong. It may be painful, but it is right and what Jesus taught us to do. So, join me in looking deeply within this month. Every relationship we have will be better for the honesty shown in admitting our mistakes. Most of all, our worship of God will be expectable and pleasing. Nothing could be better than joining together for Easter Sunday on April 4th with lighter burdens and sincere hearts to worship God. So, let us do just that.

In Christ’s Love,
Reverend Miranda