#LiveYourFaith Blog – “Let It Go”
“Let It Go”
Those three words can conjure up quite a few images, from kiddos singing their hearts out to the Frozen soundtrack, to dads and daughters lip syncing in the car to the same tune. Sorry, but that one will be stuck in your head all day, and you may, or may not add in some theatricals when you find yourself randomly singing it! However, having never seen the film, nor actually knowing any of the words to the song beyond the chorus, I Googled the lyrics and was surprised at the depth of them! From an outsider, it would seem this song is one of forgiveness, and that is the basis for this month’s blog.
It turns out people from outside of Victory Lutheran and my Facebook friends know about this blog, and subsequently, I was asked to pre-screen a movie and write up a little something about it. The film, Just Let Go is the true story of Chris Williams and his journey to find the power to forgive in the darkest of hours. After the accident that claimed his family, Chris found the courage to forgive. This film is intense, to say the least. In all honesty, as I’m writing this now, my face is swollen and I can’t breathe out of my nose, not because of an early Minnesota cold, but because the last hour was spent balling over my phone watching his life unfold. It is as heart-wrenching of a situation as one could imagine, and yet, completely inspiring events occurred in its wake.
When I think about forgiveness, the first thought is part of the Lord’s Prayer: “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Anyone who has spoken those words knows how painfully challenging they can be. Forgiveness does not mean consequences don’t occur. Forgiveness doesn’t mean the pain automatically goes away. Forgiveness is what we do because it mirrors that which God does for us. We get the best example to follow. Think about it; God continues to forgive us, every day, all day long, for all the sins we commit against Him, even despite our best (or worst) efforts to be sin-free! Matthew 6: 14,15 NIV notes, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Yikes! We cannot deny our common ground as sinners…we all need God’s forgiveness, and when it feels as though you’ve been sinned against, remember that ultimately that sin was committed against God. If He will forgive, we must, too.
King David is a pretty popular guy in the Bible, and he’s one heck of an example for what to do, and what you really should avoid. For instance, he had an affair with a married woman, and had her husband killed in an attempt to cover it up. As he is asking God for mercy and forgiveness of these sins, he writes Psalm 51 NIV, which come to find out is one of my favorite tunes to sing in church! Prior to writing this, I had no idea the context of these words, and this is yet another reason why writing this blog is so dang cool! David pleas, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” If you’ve never prayed for forgiveness, those are pretty safe words to start doing it! With forgiveness comes peace, and Paul wrote it pretty darn well when he said in his letter to the Philippians 4:7 NIV, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
If you are so lucky to catch the limited release of Just Let Go, which will be at the Eden Prairie AMC theater starting Sept 28th, you will get a glimpse of how this works in the real world. We can all learn something from the struggles of Chris Williams, and his life events which truly circle around the basis of forgiveness.
Please note there is an event that follows up on the movie called, A NIGHT OF FORGIVENESS, information about tickets and participating theaters, can be found here: http://bit.ly/1N0ukU0. AMC Eden Prairie will be a participating theater.