20th Century, Business, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, war

Artificial Limb Company

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1918
The Minneapolis Artificial Limb Company contracts with the government to supply replacements for soldiers who lost hands, feet, arms, and legs in the war.*
“Many of the limb makers were amputees themselves. They got into the business because they wanted to make better limbs. Minneapolis business partners A. E. Tullis and L. W. Balch were both leg amputees. Together, they patented and marketed the “Air Cushion” leg that had an air tube in the socket. E. H. Erickson, another Minneapolis amputee, used photos of himself in his advertisements so potential customers would know that he understood their needs. He also made the legs and arm used by Michael Dowling, a prominent politician and businessman who had lost three limbs to frostbite as a teenager.
In 1918, Minneapolis was hailed as the leading artificial limb manufacturer in the United States. The city’s stake in the global industry continued to grow. In 1938, the city’s nine artificial limb companies earned a combined $200,000 in sales and sold 75 percent of their limbs outside of the state.”**

Jehovah Rapha, we thank You for this mercy for our citizens and others in providing prosthetic limbs to those who endured the hell of the Great War. We thank You for the imagination and expertise of A.E. Tullis, L.W. Balch, E.H. Erickson, and all those unnamed who contributed towards the success of this company and the betterment of their fellow man! Will You bless them, their business, and their heritage of healing in the medical device field?

Will You teach us from Your words today, and reveal life?
“Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, ‘Stand up in front of everyone.’
Then Jesus asked them, ‘Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or kill?’ But they remained silent.
He looked at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. then then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.” Mark 3:1-6 NIV

Historically, the Pharisees sought to establish the kingdom of David, and the Herodians sought to put a member of the line of Herod into power. Jesus sought neither political or religious authority because He already possessed it. He used this occasion to demonstrate the power of the Dominion of His King.

Further, He named the elephants in the room: religious and political pride. He refused to bow to the letter of the law that said healing aid breaks the Sabbath if a person’s life is not in danger. He healed to offer tangible, visible evidence that He indeed was and is Lord of the Sabbath.

So we come to You, Lord of the Sabbath, and mourn this event today. We refused Your wisdom through entrance into the Great War. We sought to assert our political or religious authority over Europe through acts of war. We attempted to simultaneously live at war and live in Your Sabbath rest. Have mercy on us!
In this case, Minnesota’s citizens paid in blood and the sacrifice of their limbs. Yet, You showed us mercy as we bore the price of our religious and political pride. Through this company, You said, “Stretch out your hand.” You healed thousands of our countrymen!

Will You reinstate Minnesota into Your Sabbath rest? Will You cause us to desire the way of Sabbath and healing? Will You free us to hear Your offer to “Stretch out your hands?”

 

 

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
**https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2014/07/minnesotas-first-medical-device-industry-artificial-limbs

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History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Uncategorized

What is PTH? Why pray about the past?

I freely confess that the following outline is a work in progress. I simply want to share the framework and rationale of why praying through history is pertinent to me. Everyone who names the name of Jesus is called to be a minister of reconciliation, and this is just one man’s attempt to practice.

I. There are specific “moments of separation” in human history. Our perceptions lead to thoughts that overlook or take offense. I will call these “thought-judgments”.

For example, the Seljuk Turks attack and overcome the city of Jerusalem.

II. Action-based judgments at the moment of the offense.

  • Jews to Seljuks, Jews to all Turks, Jews of Jerusalem towards any outsider.
  • Seljuks to Jerusalem’s Jews, Seljuks to all Jews, Seljuk’s towards all enemies.

III. Future judgments are formed based on memory and perception; bitter root judgments are formed.

  • Transference on a cultural scale.
  • Perpetuation of a past offense.
  • Walking backward into our future.

IV. Parties are held responsible for their actions and judgments in the Lord’s justice.

  • Even righteous anger betrays the victim. Perhaps even more so if the victim is a city, culture, tribe, or nation. Under the dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ, all have been forgiven all, and therefore must seek and practice to forgive all to remain true to His example. (This is not easy, but perhaps impossible apart from His mercy. The decision of the will may be simple, but the maintaining a heart of forgiveness is divine. )
  • This is not an endorsement of living without boundaries, especially personal boundaries. This is not an endorsement to submit to an abuser. Rather, it is a challenge of the rights of a human being to hold another prisoner by the maintenance of an offense.

V. We can representationally acknowledge historical sin before our Lord.

  • Through Christ we have access to his Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omnipresence. He is present to all history, the present, and future events. He is within time, and beyond our comprehension of time. He knows all and can guide us to pray representationally, (intercession) for events of history, the present, and the future. He truly has unlimited power to forgive, heal, restore any human condition!
  • His only limitation is self-imposed: He is a gentleman with boundaries. He believes in good and evil, justice and injustice, lightness and darkness, separateness and relationship. Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” We can trust in distinctions because he trusts in distinctions. Denial of sin within the context of our relationship with Him or others offends God because it denies our condition of separateness, or that we may have a need to address. Denial allows us to keep our pride, hold a grudge, or maintain anger. To use an old Baptist analogy, “The whole world stands under the Niagara Falls of the Lord’s love. Some have their cups turned up and are filled. Others, though under a deluge of love, can’t seem to keep a drop because their cups are turned upside down.”

VI. Through acknowledgement of historical sins, we set the process of restoration in motion. It is a first step in a process, but is important because it removes the legal grounds of the accusations of the Enemy.

  • We become aware of sin. Often by conscience, or reading or hearing of history.
  • We confess it to the Lord. This is a legal admission of guilt.
  • We pronounce the Lord’s forgiveness of confessed sin. (1 John 1: 8-10)
  • He will guide it through the full process of restoration.

    1. Confession leads to remorse.

    2. Remorse leads to repentance.

    3. Repentance leads to reconciliation.

    4. Reconciliation leads to restoration.

  • We cannot change past events, but replace a heritage cursed relationships with a ray of blessed ones; a change beginning at a fixed point in time, but continuing into eternity.

VII. Additional scriptural principles or mandates that outline our authority under Christ to pray through history.

1. Author Derek Prince sheds light on several key passages of scripture:

  • “It is never the will of God that the judgment due the wicked should come upon the righteous.” Genesis 18: 23,25 NIV
  • “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” v. 23 Abraham asks.
  • ”Far be it from you to do such a thing — to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” v. 25
  • On Christians’ dual citizenship: “By natural birth [the apostle Paul, like any Christian] is a citizen of an earthly nation, and he is subject to all the ordinances and requirements of his nation’s lawful government. But by spiritual rebirth through faith in Christ, he is also a citizen of God’s heavenly kingdom. This is the basis of Paul’s statement, … “We…are citizens of heaven.” Philippians 3:20 NEB
  • Another example, Jeremiah 1: 5,10 NIV – ”I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” v.5
  • ”See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” v.10
  • Jeremiah was subject as a citizen of Judah: he did not “preach or practice political subversion or anarchy. Nor did he ever seek to evade or resist decrees made by the government concerning him, even though these were at times arbitrary and unjust. Yet on the spiritual plane to which God elevated him through his prophetic ministry, Jeremiah exercised authority over the very rulers to whom he was in subjection on the natural plane.”

    – Derek Prince, Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting, (Springdale, PA: Whittaker House,1973)  [Bolded emphasis mine.]

2. Theologian Timothy Tennent speaks to Christians’ God-given ability to express forgiveness from God.

  • Mark 2:1-12 NIV v 5. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “ Son, your sins are forgiven.” v 10.
  • “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…”He said to the paralytic, v11.
  • “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” “It is interesting to note that in John 20:22-23, Jesus breathes upon his disciples to receive the Holy Spirit, and then pronounces, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”  Jesus is giving the church the authority to announce His forgiveness in the lives of those who come to Him in faith.
  • We do not have the innate ability to forgive anyone’s sins against God, or to withhold God’s forgiveness of sins from anybody.  But Jesus has given the Church the authority to act as His regents or representatives in the world, and to speak on His behalf.  We can declare that “God forgives you” with all the authority of Jesus, because we are not declaring our forgiveness, but rather His forgiveness in Christ.  We are merely pronouncing the forgiveness made possible by the sacrifice of Christ.”-Timothy Tennent, President, Asbury Theological Seminary http://blogs.asburyseminary.edu/global-talk/the-temple-is-here-mark-21-12/ [Bolded emphasis mine]

3.  His Holiness John Paul II, First Sunday of Lent “Day of Pardon” Presentation Vatican Basilica, 12 March 2000:

  • The meaning of the celebration of Lent: “…Christians are invited to acknowledge, before God and before those offended by their actions, the faults which they have committed. Let them do so without seeking anything in return, but strengthened only by the ‘love of God which has been poured finto our hearts’ (Rom 5:5)” (Incarnationis Mysterium, 11; cf. Terno Millennio Adveniente, 33).
  • …The Lord has been living and present in his Church, and through the Saints he has demonstrated that he continues to be at work in human history, in the midst of his community. Certainly, Christians, as pilgrims and wayfarers towards the Kingdom, remain sinners, frail, weak and subject to the temptations of Satan, the Prince of this world, despite their incorporation into the Body of Christ. In every generation the holiness of the Church has shone forth, witnessed by countless numbers of her sons and daughters; yet this holiness has been contradicted by the continuing presence of sin which burdens the journey of God’s People. The Church can sing both the Magnificat for what God has accomplished within her and the Miserere for the sins of Christians, for which she stands in need of purification, penance and renewal (cf. Lumen Gentium, 8).
  • “The Church cannot cross the threshold of the new millennium without encouraging her children to purify themselves through repentance of past errors and instances of infidelity, inconsistency and slowness to act” (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 33). Consequently, a liturgy seeking pardon from God for the sins committed by Christians down the centuries is not only legitimate; it is also the most fitting means of expressing repentance and gaining purification.  Pope John Paul II, in a primatial act, confesses the sins of Christians over the centuries down to our own time, conscious that the Church is a unique subject in history, “a single mystical person”. The Church is a communion of saints, but a solidarity in sin also exists among all the members of the People of God: the bearers of the Petrine ministry, Bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful.– Source: http://www.catholiclinks.org/sacramentoperdondiadelperdon.htm  [Bolded emphasis mine.]

In Closing

Not all, but many, stories of the past are characterized by an antagonist/ protagonist relationship. I want to get beyond that broken record! I want to remember that I am just like them both; a human being with a heart filled with mixed motives! Perhaps one day we will learn to let the other guy off the hook, and create a just and merciful analytical model for history that will foster future generations in their struggles to ‘love their enemies, and do good to those who persecute them.’ May we, by the authority of the King of the Universe, practice to: heal the past, free the present, and bless the future. Amen!

James D. Orvis

 

 

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19th Century, Civics, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, State Government

Ramsey Becomes Governor Jan 2, 1860 to Jul 10, 1863  

Unknown-12

Alexander Ramsey takes office as the state’s second governor. He was the only man to be both appointed as governor of the territory and then elected as governor of the state.

Ramsey was re-elected in 1861. In January 1863 he was elected by the state legislature to the U.S. Senate. He resigned the governorship at the end of June 1863, after the legislative session was over.

His administration was marked by sound economic management-particularly of the state’s school lands-and by two crises: the Civil War and the Dakota Uprising. Ramsey was in Washington, D.C., in 1861 at the time the Civil War began, and as governor offered the first volunteer regiment for the Union Army.*

Jesus thank you for Alexander Ramsey. Thank you for the leadership through two of the most trying events our state has faced; The Dakota Uprising, and the Civil War. Holy Spirit, I invite You to move and direct my thoughts and prayers. That said, today I feel You are taking me on a tangent.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

DAKOTA UPRISING

Master, what can one add that hasn’t been said about the Dakota Uprising? Scholars from many backgrounds have analyzed the information regarding this scar in Minnesotan history, and yet there is still a gnawing sense of brokeness between Native and non-Native Minnesotans. How to proceed? How do you want to connect the head to the heart of this issue?

As a human being, I can see that there usually aren’t uprisings without provocation. These promptings could be active; i.e. land concessions pushed by rail backed by the power of the State or Federal government. These proddings could be passive; a neglect to uphold ones end of the bargain. What human would respond well if they were told to “eat grass” when they asked for provisions that were rightfully theirs?
However, does an offense give us the right to commit atrocities of counter offense? To commit the sin of transference by literally nailing innocent parties to the doors of their homes? I posit to You, Good One, that although we are made in Your image, we have marred it by quashing our offender, our enemy. Who will save us from this cycle of offense and counter-offense, come “come close” and “stay away”?

Many of us have viewed the Native American human as lesser. It was Your pleasure to create all Indians! You made them of many tribes, languages, and nations in Your image and a reflection of Your glory! Will You forgive all Non- Native Minnesotans:
1. All our unrighteous thoughts towards First Nations?
2. All our words of judgment, and verbal expressions of contempt of Native Americans?
3. Any legal expressions of contempt towards Indians?
4. Our judgment of Your handiwork; the Native American human being?

In the same light, we have wrongly grouped Non-Natives as having a singular viewpoint. We have, at times, monolithically condemned those of European descent as “racist” and “invaders”. Are You not the Creator of the Americans of European descent?

Will You forgive all Native Minnesotans:
1. All our unrighteous thoughts towards European Americans?
2. All our words of judgment, and verbal expressions of contempt of Non-Native Americans?
3. Any legal expressions of contempt towards European Immigrants?
4. Our judgment of Your handiwork; the Non-Native American human being?

CIVIL WAR

In a similar vein, will You forgive this State our offenses to You by the judgments foisted on Governor Ramsey, and any political leaders since who have wrestled such weighty conflicts? They have to make difficult choices based on incomplete information, and yet we, as their constituents, often show no mercy on their human frailties and moments of indecision! Christ have mercy on our judgments of our leaders for not fixing OUR broken hearts, and OUR divisive and untrusting attitudes! Can new laws make people show respect and love towards each other?

Taking another huge bite, I’m sure the enemy wreaked havoc in the state through the Civil War. I’m sure many were conflicted about trying to establish peace between the North and the South, slave and free, through warfare. Help me sort out the things to pray over this event.

First, forgive the audacity and judgments of the Church towards slavery. Granted, there was not one monolithic point of view, but there were many that named the name of Jesus, and still saw fit to hold slaves. Will You forgive us this view as a state? As a nation? As the Church of America?

Many of us have viewed the African American human as lesser. It was Your pleasure to create all Africans! You made them of many tribes, languages, and nations in Your image and a reflection of Your glory! Will You forgive all Non- African Minnesotans:
1. All our unrighteous thoughts towards African Americans?
2. All our words of judgment, and verbal expressions of slavery of African Americans?
3. Any legal expressions of slavery towards African Americans?
4. Our judgment of Your handiwork; the African American human being?

Second, will You forgive African Americans, and any of the ancestors of American enslavement:
1. All our unrighteous thoughts towards Non-African Americans?
2. All our words of judgment of Non-African Americans?
3. Any legal expressions of revenge towards Non-African Americans?
4. Our judgment of Your handiwork; the Non-African American human being?

Being the son of a military father, I’m proud that our forefathers were among the first to VOLUNTEER to die in battle opposing slavery. Slavery had been a bone of contention and internal conflict in our national psyche from our founding. Thank You that many in our State have consistently supported the rights of life and liberty throughout the ages. Will You bless those who have fought with a pure heart brimming over with justice?

Lastly, Dear One, how would things have been different if the Church had followed Your admonitions: rising in prayer and fasting over the injustices of slavery? Submitting our grievances to You; acknowledging Your position as King of the Universe? The Church has followed culture into physical war so often, instead of engaging the enemy in heavenly realms. We have tried to change the attitudes of our nation towards the black African slave and the American Indian through external battle. We try to bring peace to the world around us without first doing the work of making peace with You and your children in our hearts. Christ have mercy on us! We choose to honor You first this day: Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam…Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the Universe! May we forever bring our universal problems to You!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out!

 

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19th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, justice, Minnesota

Rebuffing Slavery 1860  

Eliza Winston

Eliza Winston, nanny,  circa 1860

Slave Eliza Winston accompanies a Mississippi family to Minneapolis. When free blacks and white abolitionists learn that Eliza wants her freedom, they complain to a judge who orders her freed.

Some pro-slavery people become angry at the court’s decision; Eliza is sent to Canada for her safety.*

Thank you for Eliza Winston, and that You had a purpose in her trip to Minneapolis long before she knew about it. Thank you for Your awareness of every pain, and every tragedy she experienced on her pathway to freedom. Thank you that spoke through the Apostle Paul in favor of the freeing the slave Onesimus, and therefore, it can be assured that freeing Eliza was so dear to Your heart!

Jesus, I know so little of this case, and I appeal to You to fill the blanks. Will You forgive the hostility Eliza received from her detractors here, in the state of Mississippi, and perhaps from the Minnesota’s Courts? Will You forgive those who harbored hostility towards her despite the legal decision in her favor?

G-d, I see the exposed roots of ethnocentrism and racism. Will You dry up these bad roots in Minnesota, and bless the heritage of Eliza Winston? Will You free her heritage from counter judgments of our legal system, or any who would diminish a person’s value based on skin color? Will You shield us from making bad decisions today because we are the object of wrath and anger?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out!

 

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History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Uncategorized

What is PTH? Why pray about the past?

I freely confess that the following outline is a work in progress. I simply want to share the framework and rationale of why praying through history is pertinent to me. Everyone who names the name of Jesus is called to be a minister of reconciliation, and this is just one man’s attempt to practice.

I. There are specific “moments of separation” in human history. Our perceptions lead to thoughts that overlook or take offense. I will call these “thought-judgments”.

For example, the Seljuk Turks attack and overcome the city of Jerusalem.

II. Action-based judgments at the moment of the offense.

  • Jews to Seljuks, Jews to all Turks, Jews of Jerusalem towards any outsider.
  • Seljuks to Jerusalem’s Jews, Seljuks to all Jews, Seljuk’s towards all enemies.

III. Future judgments are formed based on memory and perception; bitter root judgments are formed.

  • Transference on a cultural scale.
  • Perpetuation of a past offense.
  • Walking backward into our future.

IV. Parties are held responsible for their actions and judgments in the Lord’s justice.

  • Even righteous anger betrays the victim. Perhaps even more so if the victim is a city, culture, tribe, or nation. Under the dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ, all have been forgiven all, and therefore must seek and practice to forgive all to remain true to His example. (This is not easy, but perhaps impossible apart from His mercy. The decision of the will may be simple, but the maintaining a heart of forgiveness is divine. )
  • This is not an endorsement of living without boundaries, especially personal boundaries. This is not an endorsement to submit to an abuser. Rather, it is a challenge of the rights of a human being to hold another prisoner by the maintenance of an offense.

V. We can representationally acknowledge historical sin before our Lord.

  • Through Christ we have access to his Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omnipresence. He is present to all history, the present, and future events. He is within time, and beyond our comprehension of time. He knows all and can guide us to pray representationally, (intercession) for events of history, the present, and the future. He truly has unlimited power to forgive, heal, restore any human condition!
  • His only limitation is self-imposed: He is a gentleman with boundaries. He believes in good and evil, justice and injustice, lightness and darkness, separateness and relationship. Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” We can trust in distinctions because he trusts in distinctions. Denial of sin within the context of our relationship with Him or others offends God because it denies our condition of separateness, or that we may have a need to address. Denial allows us to keep our pride, hold a grudge, or maintain anger. To use an old Baptist analogy, “The whole world stands under the Niagara Falls of the Lord’s love. Some have their cups turned up and are filled. Others, though under a deluge of love, can’t seem to keep a drop because their cups are turned upside down.”

VI. Through acknowledgement of historical sins, we set the process of restoration in motion. It is a first step in a process, but is important because it removes the legal grounds of the accusations of the Enemy.

  • We become aware of sin. Often by conscience, or reading or hearing of history.
  • We confess it to the Lord. This is a legal admission of guilt.
  • We pronounce the Lord’s forgiveness of confessed sin. (1 John 1: 8-10)
  • He will guide it through the full process of restoration.
    1. Confession leads to remorse.
    2. Remorse leads to repentance.
    3. Repentance leads to reconciliation.
    4. Reconciliation leads to restoration.
  • We cannot change past events, but replace a heritage cursed relationships with a ray of blessed ones; a change beginning at a fixed point in time, but continuing into eternity.

VII. Additional scriptural principles or mandates that outline our authority under Christ to pray through history.

1. Author Derek Prince sheds light on several key passages of scripture:

  • “It is never the will of God that the judgment due the wicked should come upon the righteous.” Genesis 18: 23,25 NIV
  • “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” v. 23 Abraham asks.
  • ”Far be it from you to do such a thing — to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” v. 25
  • On Christians’ dual citizenship: “By natural birth [the apostle Paul, like any Christian] is a citizen of an earthly nation, and he is subject to all the ordinances and requirements of his nation’s lawful government. But by spiritual rebirth through faith in Christ, he is also a citizen of God’s heavenly kingdom. This is the basis of Paul’s statement, … “We…are citizens of heaven.” Philippians 3:20 NEB
  • Another example, Jeremiah 1: 5,10 NIV – ”I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” v.5
  • ”See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” v.10
  • Jeremiah was subject as a citizen of Judah: he did not “preach or practice political subversion or anarchy. Nor did he ever seek to evade or resist decrees made by the government concerning him, even though these were at times arbitrary and unjust. Yet on the spiritual plane to which God elevated him through his prophetic ministry, Jeremiah exercised authority over the very rulers to whom he was in subjection on the natural plane.”
    – Derek Prince, Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting,
     (Springdale, PA: Whittaker House,1973)  [Bolded emphasis mine.]

2. Theologian Timothy Tennent speaks to Christians’ God-given ability to express forgiveness from God.

  • Mark 2:1-12 NIV v 5. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “ Son, your sins are forgiven.” v 10.
  • “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…”He said to the paralytic, v11.
  • “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” “It is interesting to note that in John 20:22-23, Jesus breathes upon his disciples to receive the Holy Spirit, and then pronounces, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”  Jesus is giving the church the authority to announce His forgiveness in the lives of those who come to Him in faith.
  • We do not have the innate ability to forgive anyone’s sins against God, or to withhold God’s forgiveness of sins from anybody.  But Jesus has given the Church the authority to act as His regents or representatives in the world, and to speak on His behalf.  We can declare that “God forgives you” with all the authority of Jesus, because we are not declaring our forgiveness, but rather His forgiveness in Christ.  We are merely pronouncing the forgiveness made possible by the sacrifice of Christ.”-Timothy Tennent, President, Asbury Theological Seminary http://blogs.asburyseminary.edu/global-talk/the-temple-is-here-mark-21-12/ [Bolded emphasis mine]

3.  His Holiness John Paul II, First Sunday of Lent “Day of Pardon” Presentation Vatican Basilica, 12 March 2000:

  • The meaning of the celebration of Lent: “…Christians are invited to acknowledge, before God and before those offended by their actions, the faults which they have committed. Let them do so without seeking anything in return, but strengthened only by the ‘love of God which has been poured finto our hearts’ (Rom 5:5)” (Incarnationis Mysterium, 11; cf. Terno Millennio Adveniente, 33).
  • …The Lord has been living and present in his Church, and through the Saints he has demonstrated that he continues to be at work in human history, in the midst of his community. Certainly, Christians, as pilgrims and wayfarers towards the Kingdom, remain sinners, frail, weak and subject to the temptations of Satan, the Prince of this world, despite their incorporation into the Body of Christ. In every generation the holiness of the Church has shone forth, witnessed by countless numbers of her sons and daughters; yet this holiness has been contradicted by the continuing presence of sin which burdens the journey of God’s People. The Church can sing both the Magnificat for what God has accomplished within her and the Miserere for the sins of Christians, for which she stands in need of purification, penance and renewal (cf. Lumen Gentium, 8).
  • “The Church cannot cross the threshold of the new millennium without encouraging her children to purify themselves through repentance of past errors and instances of infidelity, inconsistency and slowness to act” (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 33). Consequently, a liturgy seeking pardon from God for the sins committed by Christians down the centuries is not only legitimate; it is also the most fitting means of expressing repentance and gaining purification.  Pope John Paul II, in a primatial act, confesses the sins of Christians over the centuries down to our own time, conscious that the Church is a unique subject in history, “a single mystical person”. The Church is a communion of saints, but a solidarity in sin also exists among all the members of the People of God: the bearers of the Petrine ministry, Bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful.– Source: http://www.catholiclinks.org/sacramentoperdondiadelperdon.htm  [Bolded emphasis mine.]

In Closing

Not all, but many, stories of the past are characterized by an antagonist/ protagonist relationship. I want to get beyond that broken record! I want to remember that I am just like them both; a human being with a heart filled with mixed motives! Perhaps one day we will learn to let the other guy off the hook, and create a just and merciful analytical model for history that will foster future generations in their struggles to ‘love their enemies, and do good to those who persecute them.’ May we, by the authority of the King of the Universe, practice to: heal the past, free the present, and bless the future. Amen!

James D. Orvis

 

 

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