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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I think its about forgiveness...

...even if you don't love me anymore. (Don Henley)

If I had to take one line about what is Christianity from a recent song, poem, novel, or writing, I would take that one from Don Henley. He has captured as well as anyone--including people like Peter, Paul, Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and even me (well, you know?) what God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit has accomplished in redeeming humanity and all of creation for life.

Central to the notion of who God is is forgiveness...we often fail at love, peace, patience, etc., and forgiveness is the power that propels us through those failures so that life can be lived...Henley hit upon this (albeit in a love song), and without this desire to forgive--Christianity--and God's own self--cease to exist.

BUT, the forgiveness is not dependent upon love. And this is where Henley is brilliant, and so different, from most of us. Most of us believe we have to love somebody or something before we can forgive. Henley points out this is is not so. For example, God does not have to love us in order to forgive us, but because God forgives us we can be loved by God. So when two brothers are fighting it is not LOVE that establishes their relationship, but their forgiveness that satisfies their love.

If Henley is correct (and the Bible seems to suggest he is) if you want to have a better day you will have to forgive somebody...somebody you probably do not love. The cross of Jesus reminds us of one thing: it is the forgiveness, not the love, that makes all the difference in the world.

Question for the week: what one line of recent composition seems to best sum up the Christian faith, or God in Christ Jesus in the power of the Spirit, for you?
May your tables be full, and your conversations be true.

3 comments:

gail said...

From my daughter's blog:
I recall a quote from Wilson at the end of a House episode

“It is possible to believe in something and still fail to live up to it . . .”

. . . at the end of it I add mentally “as long as you keep trying.”

Diane said...

Don Henley's song "My Thanksgiving" from his Inside Job album...

And have you noticed that an angry man can only get so far? Until he reconciles the way he thinks things ought to be with the way things are

For me, this brings the meaning from his other song you mention full circle.

Scott Frederickson said...

Excellent stuff