Lord’s Prayer Series – 5 – Forgiveness

‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’

Introduction: We’re going to start this morning by watching a video clip, it’s from ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ and Bailian (Orlando Bloom) has just committed murder and now is seeking the answer to a particular question…

Video Clip: Kingdom Of Heaven
(Play from 10 minutes 34 seconds to 12 minutes)

Transcript Of Useful Clip

Godfrey:  If you’ve come to kill me…these days it’s not that easy.  Well?

Bailian: I have done… murder.

Godfrey: Haven’t we all.

Ballian: Is it true that in Jerusalem I can erase my sins?  And those of my wife?  Is it true?

Godfrey: We can find out together.

After playing the clip…

Explain: The section of the Lord’s prayer we’re exploring covers forgiveness, not just us being forgiven by God but also us forgiving people who have done things to us or said things about us or found some way for us to be upset with them. This part of the Lord’s prayer makes one very important thing clear though and that is we CAN be forgiven…however not without condition, God will forgive us but we NEED to forgive others too.

Discuss: What do you think it means to ask for forgiveness?
What do you think it means to be forgiven?

Bible: Matthew 18: 21-35

Exercise: Get the group into pairs/threes and ask them to think of a modern day example of the story of the unmerciful servant, ask them to spend a few minutes preparing a brief drama to show the rest of the group.

Discuss: What do we learn about forgiveness in the story?
Why do you think it’s wrong for the person who’s been forgiven not to forgive others who’ve wronged them??

Bible 2: 1 John 1: 5-10

Discuss: The passage says that if we claim to be without sin we are deceiving ourselves, how do you feel about that? Can you think of some of the smaller things we do wrong?

Explain: Through the death and resurrection of Jesus we can be forgiven for all the little things we do that we shouldn’t…and the big things! However many times we manage to mess things up God will forgive us when we ask him too.

but back to the assumption…

‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’

Explain: When we pray the Lord’s prayer we don’t just ask God for forgiveness but we also tell Him that we will be forgiving those who are sinning against us!

Discuss: Can you think of ways which people ‘sin’ against you?

How easy do you find it to forgive?

Explain: Forgiving others can be a tricky process, sometimes it takes time because it can be something big we need to forgive someone for

Read: Read the group the 2 BBC News articles (see end of session)

Discuss: What do you think of these?

Do you feel challenged by the stories of forgiveness?

Explain: These stories are three different examples or showing or not showing forgiveness towards someone, one day perhaps the mother of the daughter in the hit and run will be able to forgive the killer it just may take a while…when we forgive people it’s also good for us because it means we’re not filled with anger towards someone else, it means we can come to God feeling free…if we are though struggling with forgiving someone we can always ask God to help us!

Prayer: Thank God for His love and forgiveness, pray that we would learn to forgive others, that we would always strive to be more like Him showing love and forgiveness to those around us. 5 July 2007 – Killer driver forgiven by parents

NEWS ARTICLES FROM BBC.CO.UK

The parents of two teenage girls killed by a drink-driver have forgiven him.
Sisters Claire Stoddart, 18, and Jennifer, 15, from Lowestoft, Suffolk, died in the crash on the A12 at Blythburgh along with Carla Took, 18.
Their driver, Ben Morphey, 22, from High Street, Yoxford, Suffolk, admitted five charges of causing death by careless driving while unfit on Monday.
Simon Bonner, 40, and Kim Abbott, 41, who were in a car which was hit by Morphey, were also killed.
Phil Stoddart, the father of Claire and Jennifer, said: “He did not set out to kill anyone. He is a person that under God’s eyes, God loves him deeply.”

Heather Stoddart, their mother, said: “He knows that he has killed five people and he has got to live with that. That must be horrendous.”
Mr Stoddart added: “Although we don’t feel any grievance towards him the sentence still has to be strong, if it’s not strong people get the message it’s OK to drink and drive.”
The three girls, who lived in Lowestoft, Suffolk, were returning from a Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ concert in Ipswich last July when the crash happened.
The support band, Dirty Pretty Things, headlined a concert last year in aid of the Make Roads Safe campaign.
Army corporal Morphey is due to be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court next month.
Morphey admitted responsibility for the crash at a hearing on Friday but the judge in Ipswich banned reporting of his guilty pleas until all the families of the victims had been told of his admissions.
Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/suffolk/6723533.stm

Mother’s agony over hit-and-run

A Letterkenny mother has condemned the hit-and-run driver who killed her daughter and then fled to Scotland.
Marie Hegarty said she will “never forgive” James McDevitt for leaving her 17-year-old daughter to die.

“You wouldn’t leave anybody, not even a dog, so to have left her and been so devious and evasive is despicable.”

James McDevitt, from Newmills, County Donegal was jailed for five months for careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
The court heard how Laura Hegarty was walking in the middle of the road when she was knocked down last year.
Gardai suspect she was trying to avoid a man who was following her.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/foyle_and_west/7679414.stm 25th October 08 – Shot Gayle ‘would forgive killer’
The sister of a British woman murdered in Afghanistan has said the charity worker would have forgiven her killers.
The Taleban said they shot Gayle Williams, 34, because she was spreading Christianity through her work for UK-based Serve Afghanistan.
Her sister Karen said her family forgave the killers and Gayle would have told them not to hold a grudge.
Separately, another Briton was shot dead outside an office of couriers DHL in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
David Giles worked for DHL. A second foreigner, believed to be South African, was also among the dead.

Safety concerns
Ms Williams, who had both British and South African nationality, was described by her sister as a woman who was “passionate” about helping Afghanistan’s people.
“Gayle was a much loved sister… who gave her life serving the Afghan people she loved,” she said.
Karen added that she and her family forgave her sister’s killers “as Gayle would have done”.
“Gayle was working to help little children with disabilities – some blind, some deaf, some with no limbs – including victims of the many landmines from the many wars in Afghanistan,” she said.
“If Gayle could talk to us now her view would not have changed. Her faith in the Afghan people would remain the same.”
Serve Afghanistan suspended its operations in the country following the killing last week. Other aid agencies have said they are reviewing their security.
The latest attacks will raise serious safety concerns, especially among foreigners, the BBC’s Martin Patience, in Kabul, says.
The Foreign Office has updated advice for Britons in Afghanistan and travellers to the country, following Ms Williams’ death.
It said Afghanistan had a high threat of terrorism and no part should be “considered immune from violence”.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7690960.stm