The Forgiver

During the closing song at a special service in an Indiana state prison, Chuck Colson noticed one of the inmates, a man named James Brewer, singing out at the top of his lungs. Colson says the man’s face was radiant. James Brewer had come to know Jesus Christ in prison and his life had been transformed.

As soon as the song was over, the Prison Fellowship Team began shaking hands and saying goodbye. Brewer returned to his cell, walking shoulder to shoulder with a Prison Fellowship volunteer. Colson was meeting the governor in Indianapolis in just two hours, so he followed them and urged the volunteer to hurry.

“We’ve got to go!” he called to the volunteer, but the man answered, “Just a minute, please!”

Colson shook his head.  “I’m sorry, but the plane is waiting.  We have to go right now!”

The volunteer said, “Please, please, this is very important.  You see, I am Judge Clement.  I sentenced this man to die.  But now he is born again. He is my brother and we want a minute to pray together.”

Colson said, “I stood in the entrance to that solitary, dimly lit cell, frozen in place.  Here were two men – one black, one white; one powerful, one powerless; one who had sentenced the other to die.  Yet there they stood, grasping a Bible together, Brewer smiling so genuinely, the judge so filled with love for the prisoner at his side.”

Forgiveness. God is the Forgiver: he can forgive anyone – even me; even you. And because we are the Forgiven, we are called to forgive, just as God does. “Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13). To forgive like God puts us in a place where remarkable things can happen in our lives.

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This entry was posted in From the Pulpit, Peace with God, relationships, Sermons and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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