Summary: A sermon for a Seeker Service that looks at national hurts, grudges and suspicions and moves on to the need for personal forgiveness (to us and from us)
War?- what about forgiveness?! WBC Seeker Service 10/11/02 am
Talk 1- National forgiveness
It seems we ALL have racial, national prejudices
- we¡¦re programmed. By things people say. What we pick up. Events
- Nelson Mandela, in his book "Long Walk to freedom¡¨: ¡§No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. people must learn to hate¡¨
- can¡¦t see our conditioning, programming¡K the issue- because we see WITH the issue. Through it
I guess most of us carry grudges, as well
- with v good cause sometimes
o horrific things done to them. Most of us can¡¦t begin to imagine
o (last world wars. Event trauma of Falklands, 20 yrs on)
- with V little cause, sometimes
o Illustr: me and certain nation (Irish) because of Sarah!
I realise some of us have v little to deal with¡K forgive
- but ¡¥each context seems big enough in itself¡¦
Illustr: Archie. Anger¡K. but could have been a child¡K my child¡K
- imagine the bitterness, hatred!
- I have nothing to forgive, really!
- not like those with war, rape, murder, consistent mistreating
Some of our prejudices are: national, social. Some are personal
- or is personal to start with and then we tar the whole nation with that brush
- but really looking at National prejudices caused by war etc, here
Three little things the Bible ( and wisdom¡K common sense) gives insight into:
1. Adam. The story of Adam
= SO full of insight. Tells us:
- we ALL share a common ancestry (science supports this)
o Acts 17:26 ¡§From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth¡¨
- We¡¦re ALL, basically, the same
o ¡§if you cut me, do I not bleed, like you?¡¨
o ¡§I hope the Russians love their children too¡¨
„X Sting, cold war song
- We¡¦re ALL incredible beings. valued. Made in the image of God. Creative. Potential for good
- We¡¦re all fallen beings, too. Flawed. Basically because we each choose OUR way rather than God¡¦s
o ie ¡¥human¡¦: ¡§we¡¦re only human after all¡¨ (level 42, something about you
o potential for incredible evil
This line for good and evil running through EACH one of us.
- "The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor classes, nor between political parties... but right through every human heart and through all human hearts" Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Circumstances, events social conditioning, pier influence, history, ¡¥being flesh¡¦ impinge on us ALL to affect how we behave
ie It COULD have been ME. YOU.
- I know we THINK we wouldn¡¦t- but people adapt so quickly to their changed environment
o The Postman, Lord of the flies. Football team stranded in mountains (¡§Alive¡¨- Heroism and horror)
Self knowledge/enlightenment is key to everything. Maturity even. Seeing ourselves as we truly are helps us understand others
2. The story of Jonah
The Jews, if anyone , had¡K HAVE¡K reason for national bitterness
- nit just from the Holocaust, but from HISTORY. Nothing new!
Babylon was the major threat in 6C BC (modern day Iraq!)
- capital of Babylon was Nineveh.
- God calls Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell them of His love, anger and mercy