From Pastor Pat: Real Theology part II, Nurturing Healing Love
(Posted March 17, 2017)
(Photo above courtesy of Scarlett Lewis.)
“Forgiveness is the final form of love.” --- Reinhold Niebuhr
As we travel through this Lenten season and consider those virtues of the heart that help us directly connect to God and what Christ truly stood for, there are two important ones that, ironically, are the hardest to achieve: Love and Forgiveness. Surely there was no greater example of love and forgiveness than Jesus’ words uttered from the cross: Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. What the State and we who he came to save had done to Jesus was unforgivable, and yet he forgave.
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Sunday service begins at 10 a.m.
So how do we forgive the unforgivable? Probably most of us have, at one time or another, had some person not only cause us deep hurt, but also not be at all sorry for it. How do we forgive that? And why should we forgive the hurt that causes unending grief and mourning?
Everyone at First Church remembers the deep wounds of the Sandy Hook Massacre on the morning of Friday, December 14, 2012. Our horrified watching and waiting as we yearned for news of where “our kids” Rachel and Matthew Calorossi were. This gave way to relief to learn that they had been rescued. Then we learned on Sunday morning that one of the young school teachers killed in the madness, Lauren Rousseau, was actually one of “our kids.” We hosted her funeral at First Church as the world looked on.
But what if the unthinkable happens to someone in your family? Would you be able to feel anything but anger? How would you reconcile your faith with your pain? This Sunday Scarlett Lewis (photo above), Sandy Hook mother of Jesse Lewis whose life was claimed by the bullets of madness, will join me in the pulpit and again during Coffee Hour to learn how she moved from anger to love and forgiveness. The title of her book, Nurturing Healing Love is drawn from three words Jesse left on the chalkboard in his bedroom that morning. Please feel free to bring your friends with you who need to hear these words of reconciliation. There are ways to turn grief into amazing forms of healing.
As her website states:
Scarlett describes how Jesse’s message has been put into a simple formula of how to choose love – embracing a deeper meaning of gratitude, forgiveness and compassion.
She believes that with the Choose Love Movement you can:
- Face the impossible
- Find courage when you think you have none
- Choose a loving thought over an angry one
- Cultivate faith instead of fear.
Scarlett addresses a need that has been lacking in the educational experience, social and emotional learning, SEL, and the Choose Love Enrichment Program which has been created to provide educators with free tools to teach children that they have the power to choose a loving thought over an angry one.
Please join us this Sunday for this important learning experience. – Pastor Pat Kriss