I don’t know what your favorite thing to eat is, but mine is a flatbread we eat in Kenya called chapati. I think we share it with India, but it’s so good. It’s really complex to make—well, not really, but it takes a lot of time. You have to knead the dough and then roll it out and then roll it up, but it’s so worth it. It’s just the yummiest thing ever.

When I was in college, we would buy chapati for like 10 cents (if I converted it to American Dollars) and I ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for four years. That’s how good it is. So, if you’re ever wondering what chapati tastes like and we are like you’re my person (which you all are), come over to my house and I will cook for you for an hour and a half because that’s how much I love y’all.

We love to share the favorite things we eat, don’t we? We love to gather around a table and not just share food, not just break bread, but share our lives. And that’s kind of what we’ve been talking about the last three weeks: we made a case for the table, how much of Jesus’ ministry happened around food. He got in trouble because of who he ate with. And then we looked at how the early church acted—where we get the inspiration for our name—how they gathered and how a central part of that is that it says in Acts 2:46 they ate together with glad and sincere hearts. It just is such a beautiful picture, and we’re striving for that, to live in a community and not just any community but community around the person of Jesus. And as we’ve talked about these last few weeks, community exists in all forms and shapes, but when we talk about biblical community, there are some key ingredients that we need. We’re not going to exhaust all of them, but last week we talked about humility and today we’re talking about forgiveness.

You see, if you attempt this thing called community—and I would argue that we’re all called to it, that it’s not optional for the Christian life—if you’re going to attempt this thing called community, you’re going to need to forgive. Because here’s the thing: we’re all broken people. We all sin. We all make mistakes. And if we’re not willing to forgive each other, then community is going to be impossible.

Forgiveness is not about condoning sin. It’s not about saying, ‘What you did was okay.’ It’s not about pretending like the hurt never happened. Forgiveness is about choosing to let go of the anger and resentment that we feel towards someone who has wronged us. It’s about choosing to release them from the debt that they owe us.

Forgiveness is a difficult thing to do. It’s not always easy to forgive someone who has hurt us deeply. But it’s something that we must do if we want to live in community. If we want to experience the joy and the peace that comes from being part of a loving and supportive community, then we need to be willing to forgive.

Questions with Scripture References:

1. What is the importance of forgiveness in relationships?
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’ (Colossians 3:13)

2. How does forgiveness benefit those who receive it?
‘When you forgive people who sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.’ (Matthew 6:14)

3. How does forgiveness benefit those who grant it?
‘If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you your trespasses.’ (Matthew 6:14)

4. How can we overcome the challenges of forgiving others?
‘Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.’ (1 Peter 3:9)

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About the Author: Mutheu Esilaba
Mutheu has loved Jesus since she was a little girl. Born and raised in a Christian family in Nairobi, Kenya, she felt a call to ministry as a teen and worked with students for many years. Mutheu has a deep passion for people to know God and see the world through God's heart for it. Mutheu holds a Master's Degree in Christian Educational Studies from Africa International University and has been ministering to students for 24 years. Mutheu and her husband, Albo, (our Ann Arbor Campus Pastor) have three boys. Mutheu, her husband, and three boys have been at 2|42 since 2019.

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