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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Monday, September 18, 2006

"You have the right to remain silent....."

Sound familiar? If you have never been 'read' your Miranda rights, you have heard them recited in a play or on any number of programs on the television - from reality police shows to dramas that feature police or lawyers (or both).

I am thinking of something else, however. It has to do with forgiveness and living the faith one professes.

This is something any number of you may have experienced. Here you are..... Attempting in every way to be a 'good Christian' (i.e. following, to the best of your ability, the example of Jesus Christ and his teachings and fulfilling, with the help of the Holy Spirit, your baptismal vows).... and you are faced with a dilemma.

Someone in the department in which you work is about to retire (or perhaps someone in your parish is about to move). You have been on the receiving end of some ill will (or slander of your character heard with your own ears). You have tried to settle things one-on-one quietly rather than make an public issue of things and the response has been silence - or worse, the exchange has been made public and taken on a 'spin' and life of its own.

There will be a party of some sort as a send off. There will be a collection for some type of gift.

What will you do? HHmmmmmmm. Decisions, decisions. Be generous? Ignore? Retaliate? Even doing nothing, saying nothing is a statement which may be "....held against you in a court of law ( or the court of public opinion)". On the face of it, very few remain innocent until proven guilty.

It is extremely difficult to be kind to someone who has been meanspirited to you. There are times when refraining from retaliation is about all you can muster in the forgiveness process. Yet - if I harbor resentment - I am the only one who is being harmed by my actions. My reputation as a 'good Christian' is tarnished and I am not living into the example of Christ.

There is nothing quite like perspective to help us out in trying times.

Read the Bible narratives and you will note that, upon being arrested, Jesus was never read his "rights", yet he never damned anyone. With his last breath he gasped for the forgiveness of his accusers and all who attributed to his own death.

If he did that, I guess I can make sure that someone gets a proper farewell and "Godspeed".


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