The week of March 22nd – During the month of March, we are focusing on the virtue of forgiveness.
Find a time this week to gather as a family, read a Bible passage, respond as a family to what you have heard, and pray together.
March Virtue Forgiveness: Deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn’t have to pay
What is a virtue? A virtue is something that God does in us to change the world around us.
Bible Story: Please Forgive Me (The Story of the Lost Son) • Luke 15:11-24
Bottom Line: Everyone needs to be forgiven.
Memory Verse: Put up with one another. Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 (NIrV)
Basic Truth: I can trust God no matter what.
Have one person in your family read Luke 15:11-24 (NRSV):
11 Then Jesus[a] said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16 He would gladly have filled himself with[b] the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.
Well, that was VERY dramatic—especially the part where the father ran to the son and hugged him. I mean, think about it. The son had done so many wrong things! He had asked his dad for his share of the property before it was the right time, he moved away, and then he wasted all his money in a faraway place. But the father was so happy to see his son again. Why? Because he loved him. He forgave his son for all the wrong things he had done.
There’s a reason why Jesus told that story. He wanted the religious leaders to understand that it isn’t that some people are good and some people are bad and that God only loves the good people. That’s not right at all. He wanted them to understand that ALL of us need God’s forgiveness. [Bottom Line] “Everyone needs to be forgiven.
Here’s the great news. God is ALWAYS ready to forgive! God loves us. No matter what we’ve done, God’s waiting to welcome us home—just like the father in the story.
- What is one way you respond when you’ve done something wrong?
- When has someone forgiven you? How did that make you feel?
- What about when you’ve forgiven someone else? How do you think they felt?
Grab a piece of foil from the kitchen. Crumple it into a ball and then spread it back out on the counter. Can you make it look as shiny and smooth as it did before? Nope! This is kind of how our lives look when we mess up. Remember, everyone messes up. It’s not just you.
It’s hard to fix the things we mess-up on our own. But we don’t have to do it alone. God LOVES us deeply and will help us do the right thing, even when we mess up. All we have to do is ask for God’s help.
Grab a ball point pen and draw a large heart in the center of your piece of foil. Use to pen to create a cool design inside the heart, creating ridges in the foil. Color in your design with permanent markers. Hang your heart in a place where you’ll see it each day.
We are so thankful for your love and your forgiveness. It’s true that all of us mess up. All of us need to be forgiven. But you never turn your back on us, no matter what we’ve done. You’re ALWAYS there to love us and forgive us when we turn to you. Thank you for this reminder of your great love for us. Help us to share your forgiveness with the people around us, too. We love you, God, and we ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
©2020 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • www.ThinkOrange.com. Adapted by Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church.