Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Forgiveness and reconciliation

An 1800s painting of The Prodigal Son's return
I'm working on a sermon that references echoes and this text sitting on my desk to type up for the blog as needed jumped out with a reference to an echo. It deals with the theme differently, but I want to share this from Miroslav Volf's book Free of Charge now anyway as I circle back around on the theme of echoes...

All our forgiving is inescapably incomplete. That's why it's so crucial to see our forgiving not simply as our own act, but as participating in God's forgiving. Our forgiving is faulty; God's faultless. Our forgiving is provisional; God's is final. We forgive tenuously and tentatively; God forgives unhesitatingly and definitely. As we forgive, we always wrong the offender by inadequate judgment and pride; God forgives with justice and genuine love.

The only way we dare forgive is by making our forgiving trasparent to God's and always open to revision. After all, our forgiveness is only possible as an echo of God's. In the here and now, that echo is distorted, but it is inescapably distorted. One day the distortion will be removed.

The Apostle Paul wrote that one day we will all "appear before the judgment seat of Christ." The day of judgment stands as the boundary between transitoriness andeverlasting life, between this world of sin and the coming world of love. Mostly we think that at the judgment day we'll receive "recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil," as the Apostle said.

But Christ's judgment is also a judgment of grace. As a result, we'll be transformed and fully reconciled with God and one another. That's how it must be. Otherwise judgment could not be what faith claims it is—the door to the world of love.

In the archives are the religion column Forgive Others and Unlock Your Heart and an issue of our church's bathroom newsletter, The Toilet Paper which dealt with forgiveness.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church


  • At 11/07/2006 9:05 PM, Anonymous Bob In Wash PA said…

    Frank+ two things. Just to let you know that Miroslav is featured on Trinity Wall Street service last week. He really is special to listen to. Here is the link to share.

    I do believe he is also on the video archives list.

    Secondly, I was planning music for the upcoming Advent season and having difficulties with the theme for a particular Sunday. You had a sermon on the readings posted on the National Church website that was of great help and a joy to read.

    God's Peace, Bob in Wash PA


Post a Comment

<< Home