Hertingfordbury Parish News: April 2004
What a difficult time the world is experiencing right now. The slaughter of innocent people by terrorist's bombs (especially suicide bombings) stretches ones belief to the limit. As we journey through Lent, we are reminded time and time again, that on Good Friday, Jesus died that we might be forgiven. Who then are 'we'? In the ruins of Coventry Cathedral (destroyed by German bombs in WWII), carved in stone, are the words, 'Father Forgive'. Some years after the war, British and German people gathered for a service of reconciliation and the past was put behind. Yet for so many (of both nations) the scars and the remembrance is life long. How do we, mere humans, forgive the many atrocities carried out by our fellow men and women? Anger wells up in us as we read, hear, see on TV, news reports of abuse, murder and downright cruelty of one individual on another, be it rape, mugging, assault and all actions that will have profound and lasting effect on the victim and family. Whether the crime is by a nation or an individual does not alter the criminal intent to them.
During this Lenten season a few of us gather each week to study, read, speak, listen and pray, guided by a booklet entitled 'Face to Face'. We have looked at, 'In whose image?', 'Belonging to what?', 'Who is Jesus?', 'Who are we?' to think about, 'Something we hoped would be……..feared God might be or do…………surprised at 'What God is'. After three sessions (at the time of writing this) we have spent some time in silence – and have moved closer to knowing (in a small way) 'Who are we?'. We are part of God's creation – and we don't always like, or are not always comfortable with what we are asked to do.
Our Lord Jesus did not look forward to His own death (Matthew 26:36, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42) but obeyed. His sacrifice was for all mankind to know forgiveness. Perhaps we, this Lent, should approach Easter with an urge to know more compassion – to be less judge and jury – to bring ourselves before life's mirror to acknowledge our own weaknesses – failings – to endeavour in all ways to 'do better' and to ask 'Father Forgive'.
Easter joy and blessings to you all.
Please note: Although the Hertingfordbury Parish News is produced by St. Mary's PCC, the opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the PCC.