Long ago, before I arrived at my current and first call, this church suffered a terrible schism. I doubt that there has ever been a GOOD schism, but this one was particularly bad.
Our church was one of the first to split over the proposal to ordain gay people as church officers. The pastor at that time - and many in the church - strongly disagreed with this, and began to make plans to leave our denomination. Much was said, done, written, and ultimately forgotten. And more than ten years later, our church survives with good ministry and faithful people, But it is at least 1/5 the size that it used to be before the schism.
In the years since I've been here, I have held people as they grieved, cried, and shouted about what happened. I tried to meet the pastor who was involved in the original problems - which did not work out for either of us. I ignored snide remarks from other pastors in this immediate area and instead reached out to others who became my sisters and brothers in faith. I also ignored so-called well-meaning remarks from people in my own presbytery who told me to my face that I had NO business coming to this church for my first call.
It's been quite a load to carry. I am tired. I think I'll put it down.
When it comes to dealing with the old hurts from the schism, I am claiming the Scripture verse above from this time forward and forever.
When it comes to helping this church move forward and begin to try some brand new ideas, I am claiming the Scripture again because sometimes I think the past holds us back.
When it comes to helping other churches who experience similar things to ours, I will show them the value and the strength and especially the peace of mind in claiming the Scripture above.
Carrying a grudge is exhausting.
I think I'll put it down.
I have other things I'd rather carry!