Forgiveness is a powerful word, charged with so many different connotations and stories! Forgiveness is best expressed in the context of relationships.
This year at OpenSkies we witnessed a powerful moment when two Christian traditions came together in our first seminar.
Seminars are free at OpenSkies, people can come and go, sit if they want to or they can bring their own folded camp chairs. This year seminars were packed and the line up of speakers was truly amazing! Humble people, telling stories of lives being changed and transformed by the God who loves us. We had two seminar venues on site and different themes for Saturday and Sunday.
In our first seminar, our friend Jordan DiMarco Pastor from Bethel Church shared about what sadly the church is like for so many of us, not loving and not respecting each other, not mirroring the love of Christ. Jordan spoke passionately about the good and the richness that is to be found in the different streams and traditions of the Christian faith. Jordan invited Father Columba from The Congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, Derry, to join him and they both shared their experiences in their different contexts.
At the end of the seminar, Jordan asked Father Columba to stand up and as they stood Jordan asked for forgiveness for all the things “done and said” against Father Columba’s Christian tradition, then Fr. Columba did likewise.
It was powerful, it was moving, it was a prophetic love act, it was an act of rebellion against hatred, prejudice and religious manipulation. Setting us free to do what really matters most, worship Jesus.
Forgiveness places us at the very heart of worship. It is there where we encounter the Lamb!