“Father, Forgive Them”

Luke 23

Two other men, both criminals were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with two criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the chosen One.”            Luke 23:32-35

The seven times Jesus spoke on the cross are like seven windows that gave us insight into the mind and heart or our dying Savior. In the first three, our Savior elaborates on the love in His heart for His enemies, the two thieves on the cross and also His mother Mary. 

Today, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we reflect on these words, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing. The crucifixion was a brutal act that was not only accompanied by humiliation and scorn, but also by terrible suffering. In those moments of Jesus’ deepest agony, Christ speaks not a curse but a prayer, not a prayer of vengeance, but of sympathy and forgiveness. It is unbelievable by true.!

However, Jesus has a haven amid his suffering: His Father. His Father is also our Father. In our worst grief we can pray to Him. Jesus prays a prayer of compassion. “They don’t know what they are doing!” Jesus prays for others, not for himself. He makes excuses for them rather than condemning them. He preached it, now He was doing it. It was a test of discipleship. He loves us until the very end. His prayer includes everybody: “Father, Forgive them.: And to this day, Jesus intercedes for us. We learn to receive and grant forgiveness at the cross.

Dear Jesus, by your wounds we are healed, thank you for your great sacrificed in our place and your forgiveness of our sins even when we don’t deserve it. Help us to forgive others the way you have forgiven me.                       Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Welcoming The Stranger

Hebrews 13 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.    (Hebrews 13:1-2)

I grew up in a large family, my parents had seven children and I was the middle child of the seven. Since I was a teenager when my mom had died from cancer I don’t seem to remember a lot of things about my mom, and yes at times it drives me crazy. However, one of the things I do remember even thro we were poor whenever anyone drop by our home their was always room for one more at our dinner table, and somehow a miracle that we seem to have enough food to go around for that meal. Regardless of how little we had, we were always taught to share with others, and that is what we did as children and that is something I still do today. As a woman now and married if I ever know someone who is celebrating any holidays alone, I would always make it a point to invite that person or family to stop by and share a meal with my family as well.  I can honestly say that I am a people person, I can always find something to talk about even to strangers especially about my faith to others.

The church I attend our pastor is always talking to all of us about hospitality, and when he saw me how I would approach a stranger and greet them, I somehow became the person in charge of hospitality for our church. For me I always believe that Pastor Doug just made this all up, until I was searching the scriptures for myself to be able to share an evening meditation at my church, that I came across this message from Hebrews as well as from the book of 1 Peter 4:8-9 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Wow, my mouth had just drop wide open when I read both of these scriptures. I share with others it’s not a Pastor Doug saying, it is something we are called to do as Christians. Anytime you come across anyone not only the people you know,but also the stranger, offer them a smile, a kind word, just like the scriptures tell us we will never know if we are offering kindness to an angel. Doing these simple task doesn’t  cost us anything, we never know the difficult trials that someone is going thru right at that very moment, loss of a job, health issues, or anything else, so a kind word goes a long way. As adults we need to take a good lesson from children, put children all together in a room, they don’t need to know anyone at that very moment. A child would not judge others like adults, they don’t see colors to be prejudice against someone for any reason, it does not matter if another child is in a wheelchair, or disable in anyway, all they all see is a child to play with, and all they offer to one another is a smile and kindness.

I will end with this scripture for you to read, it comes from the book of Isaiah 11:6  The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together, and a LITTLE CHILD, will lead them. We must become like little children to enter into the kingdom of heaven, just think about it.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends