Tuesday, September 06, 2005

FOrgiveness, Judgement, Justice...

This Sunday is the 4th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. And what is our Gospel reading but a lesson about prodigious forgiveness. Pair this with the story of the Red Sea (which resounds with judgement and retribution) and you have quite a mix.

Some say the church is all about learning forgiveness. We forgive because it is the "right" thing to do. We are called to forgive so often we may seem like a doormat. But is that really what we are about? Is it necessary to be weak, to be a doormat, in order to forgive? I am pretty sure it isn't.

You see, I believe that the church is really about justice. Justice-seeking, justice-making, justice-being. And my would it ever be easier to be about forgiveness. Justice is SO much harder. (Likely why we so often do a lousy job at seeking, making, and being it). Justice is about making judgements and finding ways to make things right. Unfortunately for many the term now only refers to the Criminal Justice system and there are many voices that insist harsh punishment is the only way to make things right. A pure retribution model.

But I am convinced that God's justice combines judgement, payment, and forgiveness. I am convinced that we need to find a way to reconcile our need to strike back (retribution) with the peace-building that comes with true forgiveness (something I think HAS to be accompanied {or preceded?} by true repentance.

Hmmmmmmmmm, seems it may be a lengthy sermon on Sunday. Better find a way to limit this theme.

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