From the Heart (Matthew 5:21-37)

Today’s scripture contains some of the most challenging sayings of Jesus.  Not only does Jesus implore us to take care with our behavior, we are even challenged to watch our thoughts.  What if we were able to recognize Christ’s forgiveness extends even to the violence of our thoughts?

Try this guided meditation as a place to start that radical forgiveness.

Imagine a beautiful hill and imagine yourself climbing it, never tired in your body, never tired of looking around at this gorgeous place….

Now imagine that you get to the top of the hill, and the view of the valleys and plains around you opens up.  You can see a long way.  Imagine that the place spread before you is the country of your inner life….

It is populated with all the people you have known and every place you have ever been and everything you have ever done.  As you look over it, you can see it at a distance, yet you can see it all clearly….

Take a few moments to locate someone precious, or something that brings you joy, or someplace that brings you peace from sometime in your life.  Enjoy your memories and feelings as you look upon that beloved person, object or place….

Now turn your gaze.  Somewhere in the vast country of your inner life, there is something that still feels out of place.  Somewhere is stored those thoughts that bring you regret.

From your safe place, high on the hill, you can look upon those thoughts with fresh eyes.  You can see them for what they are–one part of the country of your inner life, not the whole of it….

Look at it from this distance and with this clarity.  See again how the thing you thought, that once seemed so huge, is only one place in the country of your inner life, one part of all the vastness that you have seen and known….

Allow yourself to imagine how it would change the geography of the country of your life if you were to recognize that Christ forgives the thing that needs forgiving….

Would the thing change in shape or color?  Would it reflect or absorb the light in a different way?  Would it become smaller?  Would it disappear altogether, leaving room for something new?….

Allow yourself to know that it is already forgiven by a God whose love is more powerful than any human thought….

Notice if anything in you has changed.  You might notice that you feel lighter now….

You might feel more satisfied about the future of the country of your life–ready for whatever lies ahead.  Renewed, you return back down the hill.  You might find yourself walking more quickly now–almost running, your feet almost flying off the ground…

You might want to journal about your experience of entering this meditation, or share it with friends or a spiritual guide like your pastor.  Does imagining Christ’s forgiveness help it seem closer to you?

 

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