December is the season for watching Christmas classics. Every year networks have some sort of X number of days, re-airing animations, children and hallmark Christmas shows. Recently, I sat down while my wife and son were watching Home Alone. I can’t remember the last time I saw this film, but one scene got my attention. Attending a Christmas Eve service, Macaulay Culkin is talking to his neighbor in the back of the church. This discussion reveals a broken relationship between a father and son without any communication for years. After this man gives Macaulay advice, Macaulay turns the tables, “you’ll never know unless you ask your son?”
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive, Colossians 3:13.
Throughout this country, previous disagreements create tension over holidays spent together. When maturity is present, differences can be overcome. Unfortunately, when arrogance, bitterness or pride enters the equation, relations turn cold. As a former teacher and youth pastor, I have listened to a number of heart breaking stories of families falling apart. Emotions tend to make individuals say things that they often regret. A few careless words in the heat of the moment can divide the closest of friends. After cooling off, if you want to make amends, you’ll never know until you ask.
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses, Mark 11:25.
One of the hardest parts of uniting two people who are convinced that the other is at fault lies in the principle of forgiveness. According to Jesus, prayer should incorporate reflection, thinking about anyone that you are holding a grudge against. The purpose of this practice is to reconcile, making right previous wrongs done by you or approaching others whom you haven’t forgiven for a past transgression. The apostle Paul builds upon Jesus’ words, adding the concept of bearing with each other. In the final scene of Scrooged, Bill Murray proclaims it’s never too late to find forgiveness. Therefore, if you are alone and afraid this Christmas, wondering if reconciliation is possible, you’ll never know unless you ask.
by Jay Mankus