For the entire week before George Floyd was murdered, I meditated on the teachings of forgiveness in light of Jesus’ execution in preparation for a sermon on forgiveness. In order to get myself into the mindset, I imagined myself forgiving a police officer who was killing me and I watched an hour and a half of depictions of Jesus’ execution. I know it is pretty morose. But if I am going to teach this stuff, I have to think about it in the modern context.
As you will hear in the first video below, I have been haunted by that sermon for a month. I have been wondering how responsible going to forgiveness is for people who are in the midst of intense pain. So for a month, I couldn’t get myself to share this sermon up here. I am doing it now because I know that no matter how hurt I am by the current conditions of the world, forgiveness is going to be necessary if we are ever to move into a higher way of interrelating–forgiveness both of ourselves for what we have done and for what has been done to us.
Independent of religion, as I know it has done a lot of harm as an institution, we as people need to love ourselves enough to not stay trapped in the hell that is living with unforgiveness. Or at least that is my position for the moment.
And again, forgiving does not mean not wanting justice. It means desiring it from a higher and complete level.