We begin our prayers today in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Jesus is telling his disciples how they can live his message more fully. We hear Jesus in John's Gospel today (13:21-38):
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.'
Loving others is hard sometimes. Many of us have experience a betrayal by someone we thought of as a friend. Sometime this is on purpose, sometimes accidentally. Never the less the pain is real, and Jesus understood that when his love for us led him to the cross. Doing the right thing for God and Jesus does not mean that life will be always comfortable or without pain. When we take a chance to love someone we take a chance that a fragile human heart might break our love and our hearts.
Yet Jesus still held out forgiveness no matter what – can we forgive and learn to love those who have hurt us the most? Let us ask God for help:
Father, only you understand how much I've been hurt by this person.
I don't want to carry the pain for another second.
I don't want to be a bitter person.
But I need your grace and the power of the cross to release my hurt
and to forgive those who've hurt me.
This is the turning point.
First, I need to experience your forgiveness.
You know all the ways I've hurt others, and I'm so sorry for my sins.
Jesus, thank you for dying for me.
I accept your grace and forgiveness, and I need it daily.
Today I'm turning to you, and I'm choosing to forgive the way you have forgiven me.
Every time the memory comes back, I'll forgive that person again until the pain is gone.
Heal my heart with your grace.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Seeking forgiveness and to forgive we move into our holy day in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.