By: Chad Hyatt
Reflection—v. 7, God will abundantly pardon
Our repentance is met with God’s mercy and abundant pardon. Mercy honors the dignity of human beings and the renewal of our relationships with one another. Forgiveness is at the heart of the gospel, though I am afraid that we have too often understood it in too narrow terms—as an individualistic transaction between God and me or even as a one-time altar call experience. The truth is forgiveness is always happening and needs must always happen because of the messiness and brokenness of our lives and our relationships, of our institutions and our communities. We must not limit our concept of forgiveness; maybe that is at least part of what Isaiah means when God declares our thinking is not like God’s thinking. It is precisely at the point of mercy that God’s ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts. Not only does God forgive, but God’s forgiveness, God’s pardon, is abundant—it is overflowing and never-failing. Pope Francis has said that God never tires of forgiving; we are the ones who tire of asking. We must never stop asking, not only for ourselves, but for our world, for all parts of our lives together on this small, beautiful planet.
Prayer Forgiving God, help us to look upon one another with pardon and mercy.