Reading time: two minutes. “Grudge” is one of those onomatopoeia words that sounds like what it means. Grudge. Rhymes with sludge and drudge, but it’s not as sweet as fudge. It’s bitter. Our society is turning into Grudge World. Recent testimonials to Senator John McCain emphasized his increasingly rare capacity to disagree, and even to offend someone, and still learn to co-exist; even more, to live together in love. His peace-making efforts with the Republic of Vietnam point that out. This age of bitterness and resentment creates an amazing opportunity for the Church of Jesus to give testimony to the core of our faith: forgiveness. Our culture is in an emotional mess. What Paul described in Ephesians 4 is coming true all around us. Bitterness at feeling hurt or slighted has grown into rage and anger. Anger finds a way out, either through hurtful actions or hurtful words (“brawling and slander”). Shouting and even violence are never satisfying and they escalate into malice, the desire for someone else to suffer. That’s where we’re living these days. We’re surrounded by hurting people who just want others to hurt along with them. The ministry of Jesus has always been about healing. I love Mark 2 where Jesus shows that He has authority to forgive sins by telling the paralyzed man to get up and walk. Jesus heals and Jesus forgives and Jesus’ forgiveness heals. Senator McCain’s passing led to many calls of “Why can’t we all just get along?” Most commentators suggested that those days are well past in our political discourse. Thanks be to God, the forgiveness store is still open for business at your church. I’ve heard therapists suggest many times that most of their clients are really seeking forgiveness. The emotional distress that so many people carry around is the burden of hurt and brokenness in relationships that led to anger, more hurtful words, malice, more brokenness and the heartache of lost love. Jesus heals. Emotionally healthy churches are those that don’t shy away from the reality of sin and what its done and point us broken sinners to the cross of Jesus. I used to teach confirmation students that if our church sign out on the street advertised our commodity, it would read “Forgiveness R Us.” This is a great time to be in the forgiveness business. When you proclaim the healing power of forgiveness, you are changing the world. Thanks for boldly sharing Jesus. And thanks for reading. Our ministry is made possible by the generous donations of people just like you. Click here to discover how simple it is to make your gift of any size to Grace Place Wellness. Do you know someone who might be interested in becoming a major benefactor to sponsor a retreat in your area? Our President/CEO Randy Fauser would love to hear from you today!