God 52 – Week Nine (26/2/13)

26 Feb

peasHow many God 52 challenges is it possible to fail due to falling asleep? It feels like I’m trying to set a record. There was the week of prayer (fell asleep), last week’s silent challenge (almost fell asleep), and the fasting challenge (fell asleep, sleepwalked to the kitchen, ate a pie). Ok, the last one isn’t true, but thus far, sleep has been my main obstacle to overcome. Hopefully you’re all doing better than me.

Anyway, on to week nine. Here’s the thing about these challenges – whenever I sit down to write them, it feels like God is challenging me on that theme just at that moment. Let me explain using this week as an example. #TeamGod52 (Martin and I) decided this week’s challenge should be along the lines of peacemaking. I got in from work on Monday, had a couple of bits to sort out and then was going to write this challenge. One of the things to sort out involved my online banking. I logged in and BAM, some scallywag (not the word that initially sprung to mind) had stolen some money from me and used it to pay for stuff I’ve no knowledge of using my bank details.

Grrr.

Now I’ve spent the majority of my evening on the phone to my bank, cancelling cards and trying to get some money back. Evening – ruined, wallet – empty, mood – annoyed. My bitterness and resentment levels are at an all time high. I’m pretty mad at this nameless person.

And I need to write about forgiveness. I am in no mood to forgive let alone write about it. Now I’m annoyed at this person AND God. So, without further ado:

9: Go out of your way to bring peace to a situation.

This could be any situation, but ideally one that involves you. That issue that’s been hanging over a relationship? Deal with it. That person you haven’t forgiven? Forgive them. That storm that’s brewing? Nip it in the bud.

Forgiveness could not be more central to our walk with Jesus.

A good friend of mine went through something fairly traumatic a few years ago, the kind of thing that has a deep, nasty impact on a person. It dawned on them that they hadn’t forgiven that person. They wanted to, but it was a process, and needed time and space. They decided that while they couldn’t forgive that person (and they were working on it), they wouldn’t take communion.

That decision blew me away. At first I questioned it, but then I thought about it and it made sense. Communion is this grand act where we remember God’s forgiveness for us, where we see his restoration; but to go to that table holding a grudge undermines it. God calls us to forgive as we have been forgiven. When we harbor bitterness and resentment we can fall out of sync with God’s salvation plan. We lose the majesty of the freedom the cross offers us – we’re only seeing half the story.

That act of humbly turning down communion was a beautiful picture of what embracing God’s salvation means. And once that person had reached a point of forgiveness they started taking communion again.

So get out there and be peacemakers. Bring restoration to relationships and light into dark spaces.

Jesus said ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’, or to paraphrase it for this week: ‘Blessed are the God52-ers’

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8 Responses to “God 52 – Week Nine (26/2/13)”

  1. Steve Case February 26, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    I can’t understand denying oneself communion. Sorry, I have this anger in my I better not let Jesus in? We are all welcome at God’s table. Those who can’t forgive the crime and those who committed it. Jesus welcomed all. The same applies to Lent. How is giving up chocolate going to bring me closer to God? (Yes, I understand the concept of lent but to me it doesn’t make sense and it’s nothing Jesus asked us to do.) Chocolate is proof that God exists and wants us to be happy. M&Ms bring us CLOSER to God.

  2. Sue Vallente-Kerr February 27, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    strangely I had my card cloned too this week !!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. Peacemaking: divine intervention – by Sarah Hobday | God 52 - February 28, 2013

    […] guest blog in response to our peacemaking challenge – by writer Sarah Hobday – a light-hearted reflection on an unexpected answer to […]

  3. ‘Freely forgive’ – an anonymous post | God 52 - March 1, 2013

    […] A teenage girl who’s been following on the God52 journey writes about how this week’s peacemaking challenge has forced her to confront some big […]

  4. The opposite of peace, by Ruth Baillie | God 52 - March 3, 2013

    […] and we’re not finished yet. The latest comes from youth worker Ruth Baillie who, inspired by our latest challenge, reflects on how it feels to embrace the peace of God… and reject the […]

  5. What time is it? by Gemma Dunning | God 52 - March 4, 2013

    […] more guest post inspired by our peacemaking challenge, as Gemma Dunning explores the difference between peace-making and […]

  6. New to WordPress, God52 Catch Up and Cornerstone info | Matt Stewart - March 20, 2013

    […] Week Nine was also a difficult challenge. To start I thought that this could be the chance for something spiritually quite big to happen… but no so. I felt that really, an opportunity was very hard to come across. But I was then to realise something very challenging… it was to bring peace but to an internal battle. I can’t say too much on this as it involves some quite personal stuff with another person in my life but I can tell you that bringing that peace over the situation and praying about it has been extremely relieving and certainly worthy of praise. Again another reason as to why I love what potential God52 has for people. I was at a worship event in Bournemouth when I had a moment of realisation of what had to happen and was very thankful that also someone prayed for me. I didn’t know this man until that night. After explaining a brief nutshell of what was going on, his prayer for me was very simple. “To break the chains holding (me) back and to receive more of (God)” Wow, what a moving moment. Something I really am grateful for. […]

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