In this final instalment of our Lent series, Uncle Dr Pastor Ray Minniecon discusses the concept of kingdom, reflecting that when God’s word is communicated in ways people can understand, profound truths are revealed and transformation can take place.
A transcript of Aunty Ravina Waldren's reflection can be downloaded here.
“On our journey of faith when I think about the forgiveness for our trespasses as we think of those who trespassed against us, I often reflect on our journey. And it's our faith journey, learning to love one another and to forgive others who have done wrong by us… Forgiveness is about change of heart and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us towards a more spiritual journey of forgiveness and to love and to care for each other and for compassion with each other.”
Jesus' call for us to pray “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”, reflects His call for us, as His disciples, to be living and responding in a spirit of forgiveness and repentance. As Aunty Ravina Waldren reminds us today “it's our faith journey, learning to love one another and to forgive others who have done wrong by us…Forgiveness is about change of heart and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us”.
Forgiveness brings healing and may open up a path to reconciliation and restoration of relationships. It is a powerful act of grace, revealed and extended to each of us through the death of our Saviour Jesus. As Aunty Ravina focuses on, reflecting her experience of ministering to those incarcerated in Australia’s justice system, it is as we pray and live out this spirit of forgiveness that we show love, compassion and care to others. “We are God’s voice to others when we forgive, and when we are forgiven. We hear God’s voice that is always forgiving. The forgiveness is already there if we accept it and we pass it on to others.”
We invite you to pray and continue reflecting on The Lord’s Prayer today.
Reflect: How does God’s forgiveness impact your life?
What specific instances come to mind where you have experienced God’s grace and mercy?
How has this shaped your understanding of forgiveness and your willingness to forgive others?
How can you help cultivate a spirit of forgiveness and repentance in your family, church and other community settings?
Pray: Join us in prayer today, led by Naomi Pryde
God of forgiveness, restoration, freedom and justice.
May there be truth telling. May we hear and bear witness to the wrongs and injustice waged against us. May there be accountability.
But God, we boldly ask for more.
We ask for justice that restores. We ask for forgiveness. We ask that things won’t be swept under the rug and cycles of harm continue. We cry out for transformation and repentance. We ask for a new order of things, your order God; set us free.
Empower us Spirit, to become Freedom fighters. Let us cut chains, untie heavy ropes and release yokes that would keep our hearts from expansive love.
God, your forgiveness towards us demonstrates that you see worth, dignity and goodness in us, regardless of our faults. Let us see the worth, dignity and goodness in others even when they have wronged us.
Transforms us. As we forgive those that have sinned against us, may you lead us to lasting transformation and liberation for all.
Change our hearts, God. Free us, Jesus. Transform us, Spirit.
Act: Forgiveness and reconciliation are ongoing processes that require patience, courage and humility, wisdom and discernment to assess the safety of the situation or relationship, as well as support systems that provide assistance in developing healthy boundaries and encourage self-care. It is a restorative process.
If it is safe and appropriate to do so, prayerfully seek reconciliation with someone you have wronged or who has wronged you.
Aunty Ravina Waldren is a Gubbi Gubbi and Kamilaroi woman based in Brisbane and leads the Murri Catholic Ministry. She coordinates and takes part in numerous practical ministries including work in prisons and schools, providing food assistance, and coordinating funerals. She is also involved in advocacy for Aboriginal justice including Aboriginal deaths in custody. Aunty Ravina’s leadership in Brisbane and throughout Australia supports and encourages Aboriginal peoples, as well as educates non-Indigenous peoples. Aunty Ravina also works ecumenically and coordinates combined church services for National Reconciliation Week and other nationally significant dates.