Prayer: Lord, forgive us for the times when we have hurt others intentionally or unintentionally. Have mercy upon us and cleanse our sins. Plant our feet firmly on the path to reconciliation O Lord. Have mercy upon us O Lord and cleanse our sins so that we can once again be whole people of God. Amen.
Read St. Luke 22: 20 – 23
After supper Jesus took the cup and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. …….” This portion of scripture is part of our Communion Service. This portion of scripture is frequently read during Holy Thursday Worship.
But then the next verses are not said as part of our Communion Service. Jesus continues by stating that the hand of the betrayer is on the table. Jesus also says that the Son of Man’s path is already laid out but woe to him who betrays the Son of Man. Yikes.
The disciples begin doing what we would all do. The disciples begin asking amongst themselves who is the betrayer.
Betrayal. The breaking of a trust or confidence. Sounds simple doesn’t it. But in reality, a betrayal is an emotional hurt between two people (or groups). Sometimes the hurt can be fixed through prayer and forgiveness. But sometimes people (or groups) are just too stubborn and will not ask nor accept the forgiveness.
So does it just end with hurt and betrayal? Not at all. God sends peacemakers and reconcilers into our midst.
One such peacemaker is Darrell Puls. Darrell Puls has written an excellent book entitled, “The Road Home: A Guided Journey to Church Forgiveness and Reconciliation” Cascade Books, 2013. This book is well worth the read. Forgiveness and Reconciliation are not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of work to go through a forgiveness process to heal inner wounds. It takes a lot of work to be reconciled to wholeness and balance. Throughout the process, the congregation must spend time in prayer. Not the quick, ‘Oh help Lord” kind of prayer but the inward looking prayer that means spending days or weeks asking for forgiveness kind of prayer.
Prayer: Great God, help us to be a people who forgive others. God our Redeemer, help us to be a people who serve others. God our Spirit, help us to be a people who share the Good News of Christ with others. Amen.