Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Quest for Perfection

In his poem “The Unforgiving Servant,” J. Barrie Shepherd longs to taste the freedom of forgiveness.  I can relate to his desire to be free from the “jailhouse of resentment and old fears” he has built around his life.

The Unforgiving Servant
Forgiveness is the meaning of this story, Lord.
As I read I am compelled to ask myself this question,
Whom do I not forgive?
To whom in my life, even this day,
Have I been like this unforgiving servant,
Grabbing all your grace, and giving none away?

So much of daily living
can be built on grudges, hurts, and old resentments.
At times it seems as if the closer I am to someone,
the more difficult it is to forgive.
With colleagues among whom I work,
neighbors, those with whom I pass my leisure time,
fellow members of societies and clubs,
even churches, especially churches,
forgiveness is a rare, endangered species in my life.
There are the faceless grudges, too:
against politicians and the poor, the folk we punish
in our prisons by the grim conditions
in which they have to exist.
Can we forgive the old for being old and wrinkled,
for reminding us of what we will become?
Can I forgive myself, Lord,
for not living out my dreams,
for years of quiet failure and defeat?

Deliver me this night, Father,
from the prison I have built around my life,
this jailhouse of resentment and old fears;
and let me taste the freedom of forgiveness,
the liberty of living in the kingdom of your grace,
in Jesus Christ.
(A Diary of Prayer by J. Barrie Shepherd, p. 123)

Shepherd opens up Matthew 18:21-35 and reminds us that forgiveness is a life long journey.

Where have we been people “Grabbing all your grace, and giving none away?”

Last Sunday, Tammy Johnson-Roy quoted her mother during the Minute for Mission, “If you take one step, God will do the rest.” We have a chance to take another step toward wholeness tomorrow, as the three week Quest for Perfection series starts.

-Ann Palmerton

Sometimes You Need to be Asked

Many years ago I had a bike accident while on vacation.  I found myself miles from home in strange city in a strange hospital with a severely broken ankle that required surgery.  I kept thinking about how much I wanted someone to come into my room and pray with me but it never occurred to me to ask.  Now I was receiving morphine for the pain so maybe that explains some of this.   I could have asked any of the people who came into my hospital room to pray with me.  Or I could have asked; “Can you send for one of the chaplains?”  All I wanted was someone to pray with me.  But I never thought to ask.

Sometimes you need to be asked.

I wonder how many people in Columbus are wanting some connection with God.  I wonder how many folks hunger and thirst for something more, something better, something that is meaningful and it never crosses their mind that such things could happen at church or that a church like Broad Street even exists.

Sometimes you need to be asked.
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That is the thinking behind the Season of Invitation.  The idea is simple — the best invitation anyone can receive to visit a church is from a friend or family member. During the Season of Invitation, we have set aside 3 consecutive Sundays in September/October beginning September 21 when every member is encouraged to invite their friends and family to join them at BSPC.   It’s all about sharing something that is important to us with people who are important to us.

Because sometimes you need to be asked.

-Amy Miracle

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