To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.”
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I was having a conversation this morning with a friend about our belief in forgiveness. The concept of forgiveness is one that we all need and desparately want in order to preserve our most cherished relationships. Forgiveness to be effective in its redemptive power must be absorbed into the marrow of our bones. The frosting of mumbled apologies is a beginning, but can just as easily become the moment we decide that leaning toward one another is more costly than walking away. Forgiveness in order to be grafted into the fabric of our being needs something larger than ourselves to trust. The idea of anyone dying a miserable death so that our forgiveness might have real power is repugnant, especially when we are the ones standing in need of forgiveness. We cannot throw out the cross and keep forgiveness as a stand-alone idea that we can will ourselves to make work. What is rejected is the source of life itself and the best hope for all of our lives together.
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When I am tempted to walk away, Lord, help me to lean into your cross. Amen.