February 19, 2012

As a cold wind blew into Albuquerque, dark clouds invaded a beautiful day. In spite of the ominous sky, 42 people gathered to share a meal, join in worship, and participate in community.

As I ate my bowl of cream of broccoli soup, a man came up to me and asked if I wanted more. When I told him no, I was fine, he asked if I needed my water refilled. A few minutes later, this man returned asking if he could take my empty bowl and plate. I invited him to sit down and relax; he responded that he was there today to work.

During the service, we talked about the meaning of forgiveness. When I asked how many people have done things in their life that they regret, every hand went up. Suddenly the barriers that divide us broke down as we saw the human condition that unites us.

Together, we talked about the unconditional forgiveness Jesus offered. Together, we shared the freedom and liberation that comes through forgiveness.

As we prayed and shared communion, cold winds blew harder and rain clouds moved closer. While the sky above us threatened, the message we carried away was peace.

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