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“A  Lesson  on  FORGIVENESS!”

The View from the Pulpit:

Dear Fellow Members of Resurrection, a Family of Believers,

I found this wonderful article on the Internet, which shares a powerful lesson on forgiveness – a lesson we all need to take to heart!.

“A  Lesson  on  FORGIVENESS!”

Dr. Joseph Morgan was speaking to a crowd near the Pearl Harbor Memorial, recalling the attack of the Japanese.  Joe had been stationed on Ford Island, in the center of Pearl Harbor.  At 7:55 a.m. he heard planes as the bombing began.  This nineteen year old Texan, who had joined the navy to “see the world,” was confused as machine gun bullets rained down.  As he watched his fellow sailors fall, hit and bleeding around him, his confusion turned to fear and then to hatred as he saw the symbol of the rising sun pass overhead on plane after plane.

He first tried to hide, but seeing the other men around him scramble for weapons, he settled into a machine gun nest and managed to shoot down several Japanese planes. Although Joe was a Christian, he found himself hating a nation and its people that in the end killed 2,403 Americans, including 68 civilians.

Joe and others stayed at their posts all night in case of another attack and during that night he said a prayer that changed his life.  He promised God that if he survived that war, he would become a preacher.  And although he kept his word to God, he never quite got over his hatred towards the Japanese.

In 1954, fresh out of the seminary, Joe became a pastor of the Wailuku Baptist Church in Maui.  Two years later, he heard that Mitsuo Fuchida, commander of the naval forces that led the attack on Pearl Harbor, was coming to Maui, so Joe went to hear his speech.  He listened in awe as Fuchida told of his becoming a Christian.  After Fuchida’s talk ended, Joe went up and introduced himself to this man who had led the attack that changed his life.  Mitsuo Fuchida immediately bowed to him and said one word in Japanese. “Gomenasai” – “I am sorry.”

What happened next was as an important moment as any other in history.  The two former enemies shook hands, and Joe felt all the anger toward the man and his country leave.  God had replaced his anger with the peace of forgiveness.  Joe Morgan and Mitsuo Fuchida shook hands, now as brothers in Christ.

Forgiveness is a gift you have received FREELY from God, through the person and work of the Savior, Jesus – and it enables us, by the Holy Spirit, to give forgiveness to others!  It does not need the other person’s contrition or sorrow, just your willingness to let go of what hurts more to retain than to release.  God gave us His forgiveness, despite our sins and failures.  We, too, can do no less than to forgive others who have failed us. Forgiveness is good for the soul.  It helps our peace of mind as well.

Gomenasai, dear Lord Jesus!

Your Fellow Servant in Christ our Lord,

Pastor Hank Hollar



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