In October, our Wednesday chapel services have followed the New Church Journey series “Practicing Forgiveness.” I’ve been struck by the beautiful balance in the teachings on forgiveness. We are to forgive not just up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22). But this does not mean that we ignore the harm done to us or let evil go unchecked; Jesus said, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him.” (Matthew 18:15). Part of seeking reconciliation involves acknowledging that harm has been done. It is challenging to live by these teachings — to wish well to those who have hurt us and at the same time to seek justice — but when everyone is committed to these ideals, our communities find healing. It is a central New Church teaching that mercy and justice are not opposed to each other; they make one, as love and wisdom do. In the words of Psalm 85, “Mercy and truth have met together; justice and peace have kissed.” It’s inspiring to be part of a community that seeks to live these teachings.
Rev. Coleman Glenn, Assistant Chaplain