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Thursday, 16 April 2020

The peace of forgiveness

I shared with you on Tuesday, my experience of hearing, for the second time in a week, the reading from the app Lectio 365, the Lord's message of peace in the room where the fearful disciples were hiding.  Guess what the reading is for today's Communion service - Luke's version of that same passage.  Luke 24:35-48.

Let us think today of Jesus' greeting of peace and the fear of the disciples.  Why were the disciples afraid?  Luke tells us that they thought they were seeing a ghost.  Even if it was but the ghost of Jesus that they saw, why would they be afraid?  Surely He would not harm them.  Perhaps they were afraid because they knew that in His hour of need, they had forsaken Him, run away and left Him to be mocked, flogged and crucified.  One of them had even denied knowing Him, not once but three times. They might well have been afraid of reprisals from what they thought to be the unrested soul of the master whom they let down so badly.

Instead of reprisals, Jesus greets them with the offer of peace.  Let this be a reminder to us that God forgives our shortcomings, our sin.  We may often be aware that we have let the Lord down but we should never let that make us afraid to approach Him and ask for His forgiveness.  This passage teaches us that God's forgiveness is immense, it extends beyond those who try to serve Him well and fail.  Why do I say this?  Because at the end of the passage, Jesus says that the message of repentance and forgiveness is to be preached to all nations - beginning at Jerusalem.  Jerusalem, the very place where people had been baying for His blood!  The place where crowds had shouted "Crucify" when they had the opportunity to have Him released; the place where His Father's house had been "turned into a den of thieves";   the place where His strongest critics were, those who falsely accused Him out of a sense of jealousy and assumed superiority.  Yet this is where the message of forgiveness is first to be proclaimed.

Let us never assume that anything that we have thought, said or done, or anything that others have thought, said or done, will put us beyond the reach of God's forgiveness.  Amen.

I'm sorry that I haven't been able to put this week's reflections onto a video, but there is a problem with my mobile phone, which keeps cutting out.  Dave says that I need to have a long session of deleting photographs and videos because my phone is too full.  As soon as I get chance I will do that but at the moment much of my time is taken up with funerals and funeral preparations due to the pandemic, so for the time being, it will be written reflections.  (Come to think of it, that might be preferable to having to see my face every day!)

On the subject of "every day", if, as suspected, I get even busier with funerals, I will put something on the blog on Wednesdays and Sundays, when we would normally have services.  I will also think about something family friendly for Thursdays.  The Lectio 365 app has some good reflections every day and David Green has put a link to this on the website.  Give it a try.  God bless, Lyn

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