22/06/09 A Question of Forgiveness?
Well I am delighted to report that people do read the Church Newsletter, judging by comments, compliments and email that followed the last issue. I did wonder if news got round and then people read the publication about Sunday Trading but interest levels have certainly been raised.
Interest levels in politics has increased in recent months and it’s been an interesting but sorry tale. Cabinet Ministers, MP’s even the Speaker of the House of Commons all stood down over an issue that created real anger in the country. Some MP’s paid back large sums of money, apologized and generally groveled for survival but still ended up loosing their post, seats and good names. We know all of this and I think many of us groan when further revelations now swill out of the media.
In all of this we should take a moment to reflect on the question of forgiveness. Now this is more than theological posturing, it is a question for everyone. If something happens to us or our family that was wrong or should never have taken place how do we deal with the situation. If the person or organization responsible says sorry, or even asks for forgiveness what response do we actually make. It’s a hard question and of course circumstance, outcome and sincerity of the bounder are all factors to move our hearts. The driver who causes an accident while on a mobile phone will extract a different response from most people than the child who has just kicked a ball into your flowerbed (not the best example I fear ).
As Christians who hear about forgiveness how different from everyone else on this topical matter are we?. When those letters started pouring out from the Westminster Village saying that our Members were sorry did it cut any ice. When they paid pack sums of money that would fund a very nice car did we think ‘ Oh Bless’. Or did we think along with many others that new stocks should be installed in Trafalgar Square. ( Oh this boy likes living dangerously). Our response to the above is not a comfortable matter, we don’t want to be weak; we don’t like being taken for fools; and we expect reparation.
Hmm, tricky, and such a relief then we all live such blameless lives. The parable of the unforgiving servant needs a regular airing. It reminds those who are living in Grace to have grace for those who have failed them. The Son of God has set us free and all we have to do it accept his forgiveness. We should try and live a better life but we are not facing an impossible payback – the debt is wiped out. The only condition to our freedom is that we forgive others.
Its not in the media’s interest to make these matters easier for those at fault but our thinking, our regard and our thirst for blood should not be led by the folk at Wapping it should find guidance from the teachings of Christ.
So thinking for a moment of the parable I want you to imagine that you knew one of these MP’s who had large expenses. Imagine you managed to get rid of the crowd baying for their blood and enabled them to keep their job. Then YOU paid back there questionable expenses……..need I say more.
Well perhaps just this; when forgiveness is given, forgiveness is expected.