Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Call to the Prodigal

Today I came across an item I wrote awhile back. For some reason I see it as very appropriate for Shrove Tuesday. Shrove is the past tense of Shrive which has the meaning of confession and repentance. Shrove Tuesday is the day before the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday.

I hope my letter to those who have been hurt by the church will reach a heart or two (or more) and healing will begin. I also hope that those of us who have remained in the church, though hurt, will also find healing. Finally, for those of us who are the instruments of hurt, I pray we will return to the cross, seek forgiveness, and be renewed.

Dear Brother and Sister in Christ,

Please come back! We miss you!

Forgive us our trespasses. We understand that no apology can turn back time and change what has happened to hurt you so deeply that you felt you had to run away. We want you to know that you do not need to carry the hurt and pain any longer. We cannot promise that we will be any better than we were before, but Jesus is our healer and reconciler. He is teaching and disciplining us. We want you to find His comfort and peace.

Forgive us because we didn't know what we were doing. We had no idea that we were hurting you so much. We thought we were doing what God wanted us to do, but we were wrong. We didn't know how much we hurt ourselves when we treated you as we did. Without you we are incomplete. Our failures are multiplied and our successes are not as great. We need you just as our body needs all of our parts to work together.

Please come home! We wait in expectation of our reunion. You are welcome anytime!

In Christ,

The Church
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