Holy Week Reflection - Tuesday 7th April
Take time to be quiet, perhaps light a candle.
Be still and know that I am God
Let us pray
Loving God, be with us as we join in fellowship in our own homes. Open our hearts to awesomeness of your love, made real for us through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. May we never lose the wonder of the cross. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Can such a clown of sorrows
Still bring a useful word, When faith and love seem phantoms
And every hope absurd.
Words from the cross
“Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
They convicted an innocent man, spat on him, whipped him, made him carry a heavy cross and exposed his nakedness. Jesus was a source of ridicule; a clown. And yet, as he was dying, he asked that these people should be forgiven.
Were they aware of the cruelty they were inflicting, the life they were destroying and the spirit they were crushing? It is easy to think they did, but Jesus said, “they do not know what they are doing.”
We, ourselves can be the victims of unkind words, false accusations and thoughtless actions. Those cutting remarks can gradually eat away at our self-esteem and confidence.
We have seen people blatantly ignoring the guidance on social isolation during the coronavirus pandemic; gathering in large numbers, stealing NHS cards from key workers, targeting vulnerable adults in their own homes, and so much more. It is easy to write them off as “a bad lot” - but let us remember Jesus’ words: “they do not know what they are doing”. They do not understand about love and compassion—they are ignorant of the grace of God.
We are hurt by personal assaults and we are upset by some of the things we see going on in our society and throughout the world. Imagine Christ’s physical and mental pain, and his anguish over the state of his Father’s kingdom. And yet, look again at the words he spoke on the cross. We are called to take up Christ’s cross and to follow his example.
Can we find it in ourselves to say “Father, forgive them”?
Rather than criticise and despair of the actions of others, how can we tackle their ignorance and lack of love and understanding?
It is easy to feel that faith is a lost cause and hope is absurd, but let’s not underestimate the power of forgiveness. Jesus obviously felt it was important enough to speak about in his last few breaths; so let’s see what hope and power is unleashed as we “forgive those who trespass against us”.
Think of someone you have found difficult to forgive. Perhaps you’ve not been in touch for a while. Give them a ring or send them a letter/ text/ email. Let them know you are thinking about them.
If you have hurt someone else, get in touch with them; say you are sorry.
Pray for the hearts of all people to be open to God’s love.
Let us pray
Help us to show the same mercy to others that you have shown to us. Show us how to forgive and give us the courage to seek forgiveness for the things we have done wrong.
May our grace towards others be a lesson in love for them—so that the world may hope again, and faith may grow.
We offer these prayers through Christ our Lord.