"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17
Grace and peace be with each one of you and the eternal love of God that we have received through Jesus the Christ, God's own son.
I remember sitting with a friend of mine during my days in school when I was learning about being a minister. We were discussing the topic of forgiveness. He asked me, why do we forgive? I answered, we forgive because God tells us to. He replied that's true, but there is another reason; it is so we can be free. In my short life, I have learned that to be free means to forgive. Too often we hang onto the grudges and resentment that causes our hearts much pain and stress. In the above verse from the letter of 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul wants people to understand that through Christ Jesus we can start over. In school we were taught that whenever you see the word therefore in the Bible you must ask yourself, what is it therefore! Well, chapter 5 of 2 Corinthians talks about forgiveness or reconciliation and if we want to become a new creation, one must learn to make amends with those who have wronged us or we ourselves have hurt them in some way. Only then can we experience the freedom or new life that is in Jesus the Christ. A life that is not weighed down or so heavy because we refuse to forgive each other. So friends, as we prepare to enter the season of spring and also of Easter, a time when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, who is both Savior and the son of God, may we also become new creations by learning and living the freedom of forgiveness.
The Rev. Brian Dykema is the pastor of the Johnstown Reformed Church in Johnstown.