New Life Sunday – Learning forgiveness from a traffic ticket

This Sunday our topic in the series, “Taking Root, Bearing Fruit” is forgiveness. I invite you to travel back in time with me to my college days for a story on forgiveness.

I was driving late at night on I-94 West from Wisconsin to Minnesota in my trusty Mazda 323. I remember looking down at my dashboard and noticing my battery light had turned on.

I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it didn’t seem like a good thing. Long story short, the belt on my alternator had snapped. This affected my cooling system and my battery charge.

It was late and I wanted to make it to a truck stop so in order to conserve battery power I turned off my headlights.

Within a few miles, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw flashing blue and red lights. The officer came to my window and I told him my story. He took it all in and then wrote me a ticket for driving without headlights.

In spite of the ticket, he offered me a ride to the nearest truck stop. In the end, my dad drove over to help me out…thank you dad!

Since I didn’t have much money and didn’t want to pay the ticket, I decided to take it to court. After being sworn in, I took my place for the trial. The judge heard my story, which included a recount of the logic behind driving without headlights. In addition, I shared that I was engaged to be married and that the ticket would be an additional stress on a very thin budget.

The judge asked the officer if he disagreed with any of my story–he didn’t.  He then asked the officer if he felt that it would be ok to dismiss the case. The officer obliged. The judge then shared that he had been presiding over divorce proceedings all day and that I should take some advice from him in regard to my upcoming marriage.

I was all ears as he told me to prioritize the woman to whom I was committing my life and to seek help before divorce became an option.

Then he dismissed the case.

I was free to go with no fine, no points and no worries.

I was forgiven and it felt great…it always does. This Sunday, the sermon comes from Hebrews 9:12-10:18 and Matthew 18:21-35 and is entitled, “Sorry: forgiven to forgive.” As we gather for worship and fellowship, we will look closely at the forgiveness that has been offered to us through Jesus and then take one more step to individually consider our own willingness to forgive those who have offended us.

In the meantime, keep those headlights on…especially at night!


Resource of the — “We seek to inspire the shapers of tomorrow’s culture to connect their hardest questions with the person and story of Jesus Christ.”

Announcements: Women’s breakfast tomorrow, April 28 from 8-10 at First Watch in North KC (409 Armour Rd Kansas City, MO 64116). It’s totally informal, so feel free to roll out of bed and come as you are, and you can leave at anytime too!

Mick Silvers and Kristen Clements will be hosting “A night in the Dominican Republic” as a fundraiser for their summer internship overseas. The dinner will be held from 6:00-8:00pm and will feature authentic food and traditions.


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