DIGGING DEEPER – WEEK ONE     "Forgiveness" Sermon Series (Lent 2023) February 26, 2023, Passage: Luke 11:1-13   Focus: “Forgive us our sins as we forgive everyone who sins against us.”    As we begin this Lenten series on the theme of forgiveness, we recognize that for many people, in the face of terrible evils done to them or to others, forgiveness feels like a pipe dream, not doable and not remotely possible. One the one hand, the Christian faith does recognize (in the Bible, throughout human history and in our own lives) the incredible amount of evil that humans being do against each other and against God. And yet on the other hand, because of the work of Jesus Christ, we hold to the hope (the confident assurance) that forgiveness is possible. We recognized, as the Lord’s Prayer teaches us, that forgiveness is a “basic need” for all human beings—both the experience of receiving God’s forgiveness and our forgiving those who have hurt us and sinned against us.     REFLECTIONS QUESTIONS:  1.     What are some reasons forgiveness is not easy to talk about in our world today?  2.     If someone were to say to you that “forgiveness is impossible” how would you respond to them?  3.    What does forgiveness mean to you? Have you experienced the forgiveness of God? Have you experienced the forgiveness of someone else towards you?  4.    What is a Bible story or verse about forgiveness that you find meaningful and / or helpful? PRAYER SUGGESTION Think about the sins you have committed against God and against others. Think also about the awful and brutal ways human beings hurt and harm each other. Bring these thoughts to God in prayer. Confess your sins to him and receive his pardon. GOING EVEN DEEPER The following are some other scriptures about forgiveness.        Begin with prayer asking God through the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and ears to hear him. Spend some time with each passage, reading it over several times.   Think about these questions. 1)     What does this passage say about forgiveness? 2)    What is God saying about himself in this passage? 3)    What is God saying to you on this passage?               Psalm 103:1-4                       Acts 13:36-39             Ephesians 1:1-10            Acts 2:37-39                          Colossians 1:9-14      1 John 1:5-10