Please pray for our staff and students now that cold and flu season has come upon us. Paula Lange is out sick for the second day, and others of us are sniffling, sneezing, coughing, and wheezing, held together by cold medication, perseverance, and prayer. I woke up this morning with the sore throat and wobbly legs that usually presages a bout with a virus, but I decided that I had to come to school if only to be part of our elementary chapel skit this afternoon. I missed being in the Encouragement skit I wrote for last week's chapel, so I especially want to be here for the one on Forgiveness today.
Forgiveness was the topic of a message spoken by Pastor Schaller a few Sundays ago, and it seems as though I have been learning it ever since. My blithe statement that I forgive others easily was put to the test later that week as I stewed over something someone had done that really bothered me; I kept my hurt to myself and couldn't seem to let it go. Eventually I did, and all is well now, but I really felt God provoking me to live that message. This morning I tried to mediate an unfortunate incident between two students that cries for forgiveness, true forgiveness, not the "sure, no problem" quick and easily forgotten brush off, but a deep, lasting, put it all behind us forgiveness that only God's love produces.
Sin is a disease, a sickness, that infects the entire human race, and the devil wants us all to live and die in its effects, like the lepers mentioned in the Bible. We sin, we fail, we disappoint others and ourselves, we hurt others and ourselves, because we have these bodies of sin and death that make us all fall short of the glory of God. We needed the ultimate price to be paid by God for our forgiveness, and we need forgiveness in our lives. Forgiveness is like a healing balm, a medicine, that restores relationships that have been devastated by sin and its effects. Without forgiveness, wounds and hurts fester and deepen, sickening the soul, sapping the life of a person.
I think that's what I hope to communicate in chapel today to the elementary students. I have one character say to another that when you forgive a friend, you keep a friend. We need to be forgiving people as believers, not clinging to our hurts and wounds at the expense of losing a relationship with a dear brother or sister in Christ. How does that old saying go? "To err is human; to forgive, divine." God set the example for us to follow.