Say Yes in a world of No: The Power of Easter

What does Easter mean for you? What Easter traditions do you celebrate? My adult mind still conjures up wonderful childhood memories of colorful woven baskets filled with chocolate bunnies, jellybeans and the hardboiled eggs that my family and I colored together. Easter meant going to church tucked into a stiff new suit and then gathering around the dinner table with family afterwards. But as we get older, while we still love many of our Easter traditions, I think we yearn for something more.

For Christians, Easter is the story of a God who loves us so much that not even the grave can keep us apart. When the tomb seemed like the end of the story for Jesus, God wrote another chapter for him, for the world and for us.

In an anxious and fearful world that too often shouts, No! to the abundant life, Easter is God’s great big Yes to hope, freedom and eternal life. Where the world builds up fences, God tears them down. Where the world draws borders, God sees us as one. When the world knocks us down, God lifts us up. When the world says that death is the end,

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Should You Forgive When You’re Still Being Hurt?

Should forgiveness be offered to everyone? Maybe, but in some situations it needs to be offered while you’re walking out the door!

My friend and colleague, the Rev. Kate Matthews-Huey of the Amistad Chapel in downtown Cleveland posted the following two very important questions to Fox 8’s Facebook page following this week’s airing of The Power of Forgiveness (part one).

“What if the perp is doing something in an ongoing way, so it’s not something in the past but has a life of its own? Also, are we required to let the offender know that we’re forgiving them? I’d appreciate your thoughts.”

Rev. Kate raises critical concerns for all of us and, particularly, for those who find themselves locked into abusive relationships or situations. Here are some quick and humble thoughts on forgiveness. I suspect, when you are done reading this, you may want to add some comments of your own.

Forgiveness 101: Let’s start by recalling forgiveness basics: First, forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning or even tolerating bad behavior, whether it is prior behavior or current. Instead, at the very least, forgiveness is interested in letting go of negative and, potentially, destructive thoughts such as anger or bitterness.

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