SERMON TITLE: “Forgiveness: A New Year’s Resolution”
SERMON TEXT: Luke 2:21-38 and Colossians 3:12-17
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: December 27, 2020, at First UMC
If you gathered with any family members over Christmas, if you talked with them on the phone or had some video chats, if you sent and received Christmas mail, or if you only reflected on memories of Christmases past—I hope those experiences brought you a great deal of joy. But, while those gatherings, communications, and memories have the potential to be meaningful and relaxing, there’s also the possibility that those Christmas connections with family and friends stirred up some uncomfortable feelings. There’s nothing quite like the interpersonal relations of the holidays to frazzle our nerves and remind us just how much we need to forgive and be forgiven.
In the December 21 Standard Examiner, there was a guest commentary by Susan Madsen. She began with these sentences: “This holiday season, the world is in desperate need of healing, from our health to the economy to politics. And while we may feel powerless as individuals to solve these big issues, I believe there is a means for each of us to improve our personal and professional lives: the gift of forgiveness.”*
We all know how desperately we need a new and different year ahead than what we’ve had in 2020, and maybe forgiveness is one way that we can take a step in that right direction. That’s why today I’m starting a series of six sermons on the topic of forgiveness. Over the next several weeks, we’ll cover the complexity of forgiveness from many different angles. But today we begin with the basics. Considering the scriptures Nancy read for us, let’s think about why and how we might make forgiveness our New Year’s resolution.