The Hope of Yom Kippur

Saturday was the yearly commemoration of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement focused on repentance and reconciliation.  This is the completion of  weeks of focus on forgiveness between you, others and God for what has happened over the past year, and a focus on change for the upcoming year.  In line with our discussion of forgiveness this month, Yom Kippur is a great reminder for all of us to be vigilant about asking for forgiveness.

While Yom Kippur isn’t celebrated in Christian circles, since Jesus died on the cross, the purpose of this High Holy Day should be remembered.  Forgiveness isn’t something trivial, unimportant, past-dated, irrelevant, no longer pertinent or something stupid, it’s really important.

It’s important to say you’re sorry and ask for forgiveness from those you’ve hurt.  Why?  Because even if they don’t want to forgive you, you’ll feel much better about yourself and be able to move forward with your life.  It’s not about seeking the acceptance or approval of others, it’s about accepting that what you did was wrong and owning up to it.

If we all took one day each year to remember our shortcomings and offenses and seek forgiveness, the world would be better off.  Take a moment today to think of who you need to ask forgiveness from, and then actually do it.  It may be the scariest thing you’ve ever done, but it could also be the most important.

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