Love Is Always Ready To Excuse, Trust, Hope And Endure Whatever Comes
Meditation And Reconciliation
We‘ve been praying for you and all the couples making Marriage Encounter Online while waiting for you. We’re Brad and Carly. Let’s go into the Meditation Chapel. When the mansion was built, the owners wanted an area where they could go to pray and meditate. So the architect created the feeling of a small church.
The program will be greatly enhanced if you prepare a few things in advance. They’re listed below:
Make a copy of this Meditation/Reconciliation Service.
Take a few minutes to quietly reflect on the candle and its symbolism:
Light has been a symbol for God since time began. In the Psalms, The Prayer Book of The Hebrew Bible, we read "The Lord is my light and my salvation" (Ps 27). In the Christian Scriptures, we read simply, "God is light, in him there is no darkness" (1st Letter of John, 1:5). God works with great healing love as he pours himself out as light.
We see a candle in front of us. This candle isn’t just to set a mood. It is to represent the light of Jesus Christ and remind us that He is present here with us, and of his call for us to be a light to each other and the world.
We have come to a time of reconciliation. As we gather around this Christ candle we turn our backs on the darkness in our relationships. We share this time in gratitude. First of all to God for all He has given us. We give thanks for our spouse and the part they have played in our lives. We now look toward the light and seek to put the darkness of our offenses behind us. Jesus, the shining light, calls for us to offer each other true forgiveness—the kind of forgiveness that he himself gives us.
There is a story about a 10 year old girl who, on several occasions, had told her mother that Jesus had appeared to her and had a conversation with her. Her mother put it aside as a typical childhood fantasy and thought nothing more about it. The girl however, persisted in telling her mother of Jesus’ visits and of the wonderful things he and she had talked about. Becoming concerned the mother approached the pastor of their church and asked his advice. He suggested that she bring the little girl in to talk to him. So one day, the mother brought the little girl to the pastor's office. The clergyman sat down with the little girl and began to ask her about Jesus' visits. The girl told him how Jesus had told her that she should always tell the truth and do what her mother and father want her to do. He also told her to be very kind to others and not to hurt anyone or say anything bad about them.
The pastor listened but was still skeptical. After all, Jesus just didn't appear to people especially a little 10-year-old girl. But, just to be sure he devised a simple test. He asked the girl how often Jesus came to see her. She replied one or two times each week. So he told her that he wanted to believe her and asked if she would ask Jesus something for him and she said she would. He told her that he prayed often and during some of his prayer times he would ask Jesus to forgive him of some particular sins he had committed. Knowing that only he himself and Jesus would know what these sins were he asked the little girl if, during her next visit from Jesus, she would ask Jesus what the sins were that the pastor had asked him to forgive. She agreed and left.
A week later he saw the little girl with her mother and father at church on Sunday and asked if she had seen Jesus since their meeting. She said she had so he asked her parents if he could have a few private minutes with her and they agreed. The pastor and the little girl went into his office and sat down. He asked her if she had asked Jesus what sins he had confessed to him and she said she did. Excitedly the pastor asked, "What did Jesus say?" The little girl told him that she said to Jesus, "Pastor Miller asked me if you would tell me what sins he confessed to you the last time he asked forgiveness." The pastor asked anxiously "well, what did Jesus say?" The little girl said "Jesus said, 'I forget."'
That is what true forgiveness is – forgiving so completely that you can no longer remember the grievance. This is how Jesus forgives us. Can we forgive our spouse in the same way?
We ask each of you to take a few moments to reflect on your relationship and recall any hurt or pain that you may have caused your spouse. Tell your spouse what you have done, and ask for forgiveness for any suffering you may have caused. After you have both done this, tell your spouse that you forgive them.
Now take a few moments to hug each other. Savor the moment. Then sit down and watch the Christ candle flicker and glow. Ask God to give you the Grace of Healing.
We encourage you to dance.
When you are ready you will go with Drew and Kristin to the Candlelite Nook to prepare a romantic dinner.
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