Tuesday, March 28
Something New, Something More
"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13.
When I was younger, my thoughts on Lent were profoundly changed when my then pastor invited his congregation to give something more rather than to give something up. And isn't that the beauty of how this grace thing works? We are called to live in response to God's grace, to get rid of that which hinders us so that God can build something new; to give some things up, not for the sake of giving up alone, but so that something new can be brought to fruition. This, I think, is at the heart of what it means to be a disciple.
As I was preparing to marry my best friend Ali, I did a lot of worrying. I wrestled with a persistent question: How are all these family members going to get along with each other? Tensions could erupt. There were grandparents who had been married and divorced and an aunt who felt like she was always on the outside looking in. But most concerning were the father and a daughter who hadn't spoken in several years. To top it off, the daughter was pregnant with what would be the father's first grandchild.
In our pre-marital counseling, we mentioned these concerns to Pastor Lowell, and do you know what he said? Marriages and babies have a way of bringing people together.
A few months passed, and after much prayer and concern on my part, the day finally arrived. The most amazing thing happened: Pastor Lowell was right. Everything went better than I could have dreamed. All the family members on both sides gave up their animosity, and something better was put in its place. When the daughter and her father saw each other, I was expecting there to be at least a few uneasy looks shared between them and maybe even open confrontation. But what happened instead was much better. They cried. The tears washed the animosity away. In addition to the joy of marrying my best friend, I got to watch so much healing take place.
It's funny way the way God works. Sometimes what we are giving up makes way for something new, something better, something more.
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