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Δευτέρα, 29 Ιουλίου 2019

Today's Sermon in a Nutshell "Be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you." (Matthew 9:2)

Today's Sermon in a Nutshell

"Be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you." (Matthew 9:2)

The Ten Booms were a very devout, Dutch family who, during World War II, hid Jewish refugees in their home in Nazi occupied Holland. When someone turned them in to the Gestapo, they came, beat, brutalized and arrested the entire Ten Boom family and shipped them off to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. There they were continuously interrogated, beaten, starved, and literally worked to death. Only one daughter, Corrie, survived the ordeal.

Being such a committed follower of Christ, after the war Corrie went on many speaking tours testifying as to how God's love helped her survive her ordeal and overcome her pain. When she was invited to return to and speak at Ravensbruck, Corrie gave an exceptionally stirring testimonial. One of those who came to listen to her happened to be the cruelest guard assigned to the camp. The man didn't recognize Corrie, but she instantly recognized him, and when He came and extended his hand to tell her how sorry he was for the role he played at the camp, Corrie froze as the memories of how he had treated the prisoners flashed through her mind. With great difficulty Corrie did the hardest thing she'd ever done in her life – she shook his hand.

Later, when asked about the incident, Corrie said, "It was by God's love that I was able to survive, and by His divine love that I was able to forgive. Hatred can put you in a worse prison than the one I and my family endured. If Christ was able to forgive those who persecuted Him, who am I not to follow my Lord's example?"

The greatest aspect of Christian love is found in forgiveness: God's forgiveness of us and our forgiveness of others; this is mandated in the Lord's Prayer. Therefore, if we truly desire to impart our children with a vivid moral compass and leave them anything of spiritual value that will serve them long after we are gone, one of the most valuable lessons would be the demonstration of forgiving others. Not to be vengeful when wronged; not to seek retaliation; not to plot or attempt to "get the best of" someone who has offended us, but to truly "turn the other cheek" and humbly forgive as Christ commands. The only way in which a Christian can truly live free is by being forgiving – for there is joy in forgiveness.

Fr. John

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