Seventh Sunday of the Year

Posted on Feb 27, 2019

24 February 2019

There are days I just feel like giving up.

I suppose we all have days like that. There are days I look at the church and think, “2,000 years and we are still as petty, as mean, as incredibly self-centered, as we were when Jesus was here. Nothing has changed. We have not become the people Jesus called us to be–love your enemies, Do good to those who hate you. That seems such an impossibility. I thought about that a lot as I read through this gospel.

Then I stumbled across this,  A now somewhat famous prayer text left beside the body of a dead child at Ravensbruck–a concentration camp.

The prayer reads: O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, But also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted on us; Remember the fruits we have brought, thanks to this suffering– Our comradeship, our loyalty, our courage, our generosity, The greatness of heart which has grown out of all this; and when they come to judgement, let all the faults which we have borne, Be their forgiveness.
(The Doubleday Prayer Collection, selected and arranged by Mary Batchelor, 1997)

I read that, even as I hear it now, and I am silenced. My lack of hope, of confidence, of trust in God is shamed into silence.

What great power there is lose in the world to forgive.

If each of us used just a bit of this power, which surely must be as accessible to us, as it is to anyone, how different our lives might be.