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From The Awkward Season: Prayers for Lent by Pamela C. Hawkins, the following:
O God, who makes all things new, new stars, new dust, new life, take my heart, every hardened edge and measured beat, and create something new in me. I need your newness, God, the rough parts of me made smooth; the stagnant stirred; the stuck, freed; the unkind, forgiven. And then, by the power of your Spirit, I need to be turned toward Love again. Amen.
Yes, and Amen! I would also like to share this witness regarding forgiveness from Kurt Boehmke, our Youth Ministries Director. In our faith, we make forgiveness one of the most important values we hold to. It is a way to find peace with others, ourselves, and with God. The ability to forgive is one of the most difficult virtues for any adult to practice, regardless of faith. On my journey through my faith, I attended a theater production at Fullerton Community College called The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. In the show, Judas Iscariot awaits trial for his immortal soul for the crimes committed against Jesus Christ. Creatively set in a purgatorial subway station, God has set Confederate Justice Frank Littlefield as the presiding judge over the trial of Judas. With testimonies from Caiaphas the Elder, Saint Monica, Simon the Zealot, Pontius Pilate, and even Mother Teresa, arguments are made for and against the forgiveness of Judas Iscariot. The show raises some interesting points to each side. Were Judas’ true motives really to betray Christ? The argument made is that he was hoping Christ would resist arrest and accomplish what they had originally set out to do. As noted both historically, as well as in the play, Judas was headstrong, stubborn, and bent on taking action. After the events at the temple, Judas had hoped Jesus would maintain the aggressive approach, so he arranged the arrest of Christ. When Jesus allowed himself to be arrested, Judas was filled with immediate guilt for selling out his savior, and he fled. Unable to turn away the money, Judas tries to lay low, until he is visited by Satan as a man from Cappadocia. He helps Judas stew in his guilt, until Judas takes his own life. While not to be taken literally, the show really made me think about the concept of forgiveness. Is Judas deserving of forgiveness? Many Christians I have spoken to believe not. They feel that selling out our own savior is unforgivable, and that Judas truly wanted a bag of silver for his Savior. While that is what I have been taught throughout the years, I believe there is more to it than what is dictated from the bible. In the case of Judas Iscariot, I personally believe that forgiveness is not out of the question. I, however, am not the one who must forgive the soul of Judas. Forgiveness requires the ability to empathize with someone you disagree with. To understand, but not necessarily agree with somebody’s side, is the first step to forgiveness. It’s difficult, but it’s important, and it’s something that we, as Christians and people in our community, must all work to do.
See you on the Journey, together.