Dear Friends and Neighbours,
Wars, rows, disagreements and the like; they all need to end at some point. And the peace that can follow is at least noticed if not appreciated by all. Fields across many parts of the world are silent now, where the horrors of war had previously taken place. It is in this silence that taking stock can take place. In a similar way, when recovering from surgery, the time taken to pull through will vary depending on the size of the wound and family disputes can be no different. Yet even in the midst of some of the biggest conflicts known to humanity some amazing stories of forgiveness and indeed mercy have been known and retold.
Soldiers were placed in trenches and it's from here that we get the term entrenched. But at some stage people have to get out of these and talk. Some might say that the people of South Africa might have had good reason for revenge, but instead they set up a truth and reconciliation commission. Due to a willingness to move on both sides, the fruit of this was a democracy that was available to the whole nation. It's an ongoing process that has collected a few bruises along the way, but then so is getting old. At some point wars, arguments and witch hunts have to come to an end. Life is simply too short and too valuable for grudges of any kind.
For the active Christian there is an even greater motivation if not inspiration, and it comes in the words of the Lord's Prayer. "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Holding onto our 'trench of judgement' is simply not an option for the active Christian. That doesn't mean to say it is easy either. As Jesus Himself said "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Couple this with the fact that God created and revels in variety, then judging another should never be a part of our lives, for judgment is often the birthplace of dispute. The fact is that some events take a life time to get over, and may seem totally impossible to forgive. Again this is where God's grace (God's unmerited blessing and favour) can kick in. Given the opportunity, when we can't God can.
Jesus' birth, death and resurrection are so much bigger than payment of past misdemeanours, they are so much bigger than mere forgiveness. Jesus' birth, death and resurrection are about the grand prize which is mercy. Payment and forgiveness have the potential to be limited to 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth'. Mercy is so much more than this. It is about compassion for the author of the wound that hurts so much. This can only ever be funded by love, that four letter spelling of the word God. The amazing thing is the more we get involved in it the better we feel ourselves. I cannot think of a better way of honouring the lives of those who have died for this great nation of ours.
With best wishes and prayers
If you have anything that you would like our village prayer group to pray for please telephone 790088 or