Of course there is a major difference between today’s mimes and being mimes of God. When a mimes act as if a box is closing in around them, we understand that there isn’t a real box present. The mime is helping us to see what’s not actually there. In the case of miming God, however, the opposite is true. Through our godlike actions, we help others to see the God who is there. We make real for people that which they might not comprehend through words alone.
Forgiveness is hard to come by these days, to say the least. When people in the public eye make mistakes, they are instantly savaged on social media and in the press. Increasingly, this kind of viral destruction happens also for those whose private errors catch the attention of Google, Facebook, or Twitter. On these platforms you almost never hear people offer forgiveness to others or seek forgiveness for their misdoings.
So, as we celebrate God’s provision of wheat and other natural blessings, we also remember and celebrate God’s choice to provide through our work. What we do matters, not only for ourselves, but also for others who are beneficiaries of our efforts.
The more we take in how God has forgiven us in Christ, the more we will be encouraged to forgive others. The more we let the model of God’s forgiveness in Christ guide us, the more we will want to forgive graciously, mercifully, and lovingly. The more we experience the freedom of God’s forgiveness, the more we will be free to forgive others.
Have you ever wondered why you should forgive someone who wronged you? I expect you have. I know I have. There have been times in my life when someone has deeply hurt me. I didn’t want to forgive and I wondered why I should. Holding onto unforgiveness can feel so safe, even so justifiable. Forgiveness seems to require opening myself up to being hurt again, which is the last thing I want to do. So, why should you forgive someone how wronged you?
Are you compassionate? Are you tenderhearted? Or are you too absorbed in your own life to feel what others are feeling? Are you too focused on the task at hand to pay attention to the people doing the task? In many cases, our lack of compassion for others reflects, not so much our hard-heartedness as our sheer busyness.
Ephesians 4:32 reads, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Be kind . . . or, perhaps, try a little kindness.In fact, sometimes just a little kindness goes a long way.
For those who are powerless Psalm 146 offers a compelling word of hope. If you are oppressed, hungry, and otherwise weighed down, God is on your side. God is your helper. For those who been entrusted with some measure of power, Psalm 146 offers an implicit word of exhortation.
Ephesians 4:32 says “Be kind.” Are you? Kindness involves doing good things for others, especially in situations when others are unworthy or unable to reciprocate. If you do good because you owe someone or because you might get something in return, that’s not really kindness. God’s kindness, for example, can be seen in the fact that he is good “to the ungrateful and wicked” (Luke 6:35). Earlier in Ephesians, we saw that God’s kindness is an expression of his incomparably rich grace (Ephesians 2:7). You think of kindness as a tangible expression of grace.
There are times when we need to take stock of our lives. Perhaps we’re facing a job transition, or a challenging relationship. Perhaps we’ve done something that has brought negative consequences. Perhaps we’ve attended a memorial service and begun thinking about the measure of our own lives. In these and so many other contexts, we stop to reflect on our lives, to pay attention to how we’re living.