“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are  doing.”

“E Pā, houhia te rongo ki a rātou; kāhore hoki rātou e mōhio ki tā rātou e mea nei.”

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. – Luke 23:33–34 (NIV)

Pete’s ponderings : The forgiveness door opens to another world. It is opened by God from the other side, not so we can come in, but to call us out. If you find yourself wondering about the chess board ask yourself, does forgiveness allow us an escape from all our game playing ?

Colin’s Chewings : The cross is about forgiveness. It is the story of scripture and the story of Jesus. It has to be lived, and often re-lived daily. It’s a lifestyle rather than an event. Often a costly lifestyle at that, one that we struggle with. 

Questions for reflection

  • Who have you forgiven and who is it that you are struggling to forgive ?

Ben Jones maps out 6 phases of forgiveness

  • To struggle to discern patiently and truthfully what is happening or happened.
  • To acknowledge the place for anger and the desire to overcome it (Not to let anger rule)
  • To wish the other (or others) well.
  • To recognised our part in what took place (Except in the most extreme cases)
  • To recognise that forgiveness looks not only backwards, but also forwards. Looking forwards means to take steps to change the future.
  • To yearn for reconcilation, even when it means hoping against hope.
  • Are you ever tempted to skip the forgiveness bit in the Lord’s prayer – like Augustine spoke of ?
  • Where are you at in your forgiveness journeys ?
  • What was this like for Jesus ?

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