This E-Gram is something different than normal. You might remember a couple of years ago some people did damage to some of our church signs. Several weeks ago, I received an unexpected message on the answering machine from someone wanting to confess to being a part of those that did this damage. When I spoke to him, he expressed regret, confessed what he had done, and asked for forgiveness. I told him that I forgave him, but that there were many others who were hurt by this. I said that his actions were not against me, but against the congregation as a whole. I told him that several of you were quite upset and troubled by what had happened. Therefore, I suggested that he should write a letter asking forgiveness from the whole congregation. A couple of weeks ago we received the following note and a donation was enclosed to be used to fix the signs. I wanted to share this message with you:
Greetings! None of you may know me, but my name is Jesse Weigand. I humbly come before all with conviction on my heart. A little over a year ago there were some signs of yours that got broken and I was a part of the group that did this terrible act. Words can’t describe the amount of sorrow I feel and how foolish I was. I apologize if I ever made you feel attacked or offended you. I have no explanation for why other than the devil controlled my life. I understand that’s no excuse and I understand if you don’t accept my apology. But recently I joined the Eureka AC Church and I’m currently in my restitution stage. By the grace of God, I have done a 180 with my life and turned it to Christ. For me, I feel this is my last step before I am forgiven and baptized into the Church. I am so thankful to have this opportunity to make things right and that’s all thanks to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for your time and for listening.
Most Sincere Apologies,
I respect that Jesse was willing to take responsibility for his actions and that he recognizes the need for forgiveness. All of us do things we should not do. Sometimes these are small actions, but other times these are larger actions that hurt others. Recognizing how we have hurt others and asking for forgiveness is important. In the model prayer, Jesus taught his disciples to ask for forgiveness as they also forgive those who have sinned against them. Jesus then says this, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,” (Matthew 6:14, NIV).
Yesterday during the worship service we sang “Come Thou Fount.” The second verse begins, “O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!” We all need forgiveness. May we also be quick to forgive others.
Scripture readings for next Sunday Psalm 133—Why do you think these particular images are used by the psalmist to talk about the unity of God’s people?
Ecclesiastes 4:7-12—What are some ways that we help one another?
John 17:20-26—Why do you think that Jesus prays for his followers to “be one”?
Philippians 2:1-11—How does Jesus’ example help us with the issue of unity?