Forgiveness

The Christian distinctive that is foundational.

Miroslav Volf teaches at Yale Divinity School – and is celebrated for his work on reconciliation and forgiveness. But book learning alone does not explain this focus.

Miroslav’s brother was killed in a childhood accident, and the Volf family’s journey through misery and hatred finally ended in a powerful act of forgiveness inspired by Christian teachings. He tells Dr. Laurie Santos how seeking to “unglue” the deed from the doer is a gift we can give others and ourselves.

Writes happinesslab.fm

https://www.happinesslab.fm/happiness-lessons-of-the-ancients/episode-7-forgiveness

For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. http://esv.to/Rom5.17

Each one of has come into this world through the anxiety of separation, formed by less than perfect contexts. Though each of us is conceived from the beginning as good by a good God and eternally loved by him, we are parented in suffering by fallible parents. In God there is abundant grace and in Jesus God the deliverer is revealed. By his life, death and resurrection we know the perfect revelation of God, Father, Son and Spirit. By turning to him in life we receive healing and forgiveness. The light within us leads us to the light of life, to abundant life in Jesus our anointed savior.

Of cursing and millstones

21 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand.
22 If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen. http://esv.to/1Cor16.21-24

I don’t know if like me verse 22 leapt out for you. I wonder, given how high minded and judgemental the gathering at Corinth was, if this was Paul’s terse summing up of the message of love: if it doesn’t look like love then it isn’t God.

Jesus often referred to those gathered to him as little children and said to those chosen to lead that it would be better to tie a millstone round their necks and be drowned than cause one of these to fall. It can be easy to ignore the messages of cursing and drowning as mere hyperbole; bigged up, but not serious. But look around you.

It seems to be the wile of those in authority to wield it for the sake of position and power. How many are scattered and divided from the flock for the sake of an idea or being right?

I myself lament the showing of the yellow card, the last chance, to others. I can only pray: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner, and seek to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God.

The lost sheep was part of the flock and the prodigal son a member of the family. We have a job to do.

Deep calls to deep

By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. http://esv.to/Ps42.8

It’s hard not to feel detached, separated from the community we love. The ever-flowing divine community, God, Father, Son and Spirit proclaims his love for us and sings over us. In these times, to love and to praise are our prayer causing us know God in the normal, yes, looking forward to a time of festival and being together, but living the life God has given us today in it’s fullness.

Beatus Vir: a reflection on psalm 1

Peace becoming, allowing and resisting.

Malcolm Guite

The Trees by Girton pond, a place I often meditate -photo Liliana Janik

Like many people I have found that lockdown has brought my reading of Scripture to life and especially the Book of Psalms. The psalms form part of our cycle of daily prayer as priests in the Church of England, but that practice is only a late flowering of a much longer tradition. The regular recitation of the psalms reaches deep back into Judaism, forms part if the spiritual life of Christ himself, and was a staple of Christian worship from the earliest times, especially in the emergence of monastic communities almost all of which make the recitation of the entire psalter the very centre of the turning wheel of their prayers.

And we recite the psalms not just as historical texts from ‘out there and back then’ but as inspired words given for our own hearts to…

View original post 347 more words

Persecution, equality and the Church

An interesting and compelling argument.

Amy Farrer

I want to introduce you to Perpetua and Felicitas. They lived in modern-day Tunisia, North Africa in the late Second Century. These women were arrested, questioned and eventually sent to their death, maimed by wild beasts and slain by the sword in 203 AD. Perpetua was a noblewoman with one young child and a newfound faith in Jesus Christ. Felicitas was a heavily pregnant slave girl, connected to Perpetua and also a Christian. Perpetua chose to give her pre-weaned child away and be martyred rather than bow to the Roman gods. As a Christian, Jesus Christ was the only God she would pledge allegiance to, no matter the consequences (Matt 16:24).  Additionally, Felicitas prayed to go into early labour so she could go to her death with Perpetua. She did, gave the baby to a “sister” and walked to her death still bleeding from the birth. You can read their…

View original post 771 more words

Consent

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve…
So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd. http://esv.to/Luke22.3-6

What’s the back story; certainly behind the story is a real person with a past and a hoped for future. We know he killed himself after the event. To pity or to scorn?

He chose: something consumed him. Was it a false hope? Whether we believe he was on an inevitable path or was destined to betray Jesus, Judas consented and Jesus gave himself up to be killed. By welcoming Judas as his friend, discipling him and sharing his bread with him, Jesus prepared the way.

Judas was there when Jesus spoke of his death. He heard the voice of God. He consented to Jesus being given up as a sacrifice but this time no angels stepped in to prevent the sacrifice. No lamb was provided; Jesus died. He was slaughtered for our sakes and bore the sin of the world and the wrath of God at that sin.

Judas died. He betrayed his saviour. I find myself emotionally conflicted over this pitiful man.

God it’s a mess. God, how wonderful to be human and have this care at our hearts pointing to a love beyond understanding! Help me today not to betray you Jesus; lead is not into temptation. Save us from our selves.