Thought for the Day CMLVI

This is somewhat out of season, but it is pertinent so I hope you can bear with me. Picture the scene, it is Christmas 1914. On many of the front lines around Northern France an unusual event in world history is taking place. Germans and British soldiers are fraternising, swapping some of their possessions, and wishing each other a merry Christmas. As well put in an episode of Doctor Who where this event formed part of the story, the Doctor says, “Just for once, everyone was kind!”
When we look in the Book of Genesis and Joseph becoming a leading politician in Egypt encountering his brothers, Joseph, when he revealed himself, showed forgiveness. No one would have been surprised, least of all his brothers, if he flung them into prison, never to be released, but he did not. Joseph showed kindness and mercy and saw God turning a bad situation to good effect. Remember God does not create bad situations, it is not in his nature, but he will take advantage of them. I believe it was C.S. Lewis who said that we all like the idea of forgiveness until we have something or someone to forgive and in the world we are living in today there is much to forgive. In our personal lives, in the lives of others that we see, in the news.
At the moment we are seeing public anger on both sides over Brexit, the two main political parties looking like they will shortly implode in anger, bitterness, and recrimination if things continue as they are. Over Brexit, over Anti-Semitism, and what can we do? Well we can only do what we are called to do. God called us to be Christians, he called us to forgive, and he could us to be salt and light. He called us to be where we are, and what we say and do can have a domino effect In an episode of Blackadder, Blackadder, as the nasty and cynical person he is, kicks a dog. Simply out of anger due to a meeting with the Prince Regent. The dog then attacks the cat, the cat attacks the mouse in the kitchens, and the mouse attacks the manservant Baldrick. Actions have consequences. In the same way our kindness can have the same effect. Our kindness will help others to be kind, and in turn… You get the picture
You know what to forgive, who to forgive, how to be kind. But we must work on where we need to forgive, after all we all want forgiveness for the things we have done wrong, and we must encourage others to forgive also. This does not mean ignoring the bad things that have happened, or to diminish them, but it does mean that we show we are civilised and merciful where others are not. It shows that we recognise we are all human beings. The Northern Ireland Peace process does not ignore past acts of terrorism, nor do either side have to like each other, but there is a recognition that the province and it’s people have to move forward as well as remembering the past Let us be like Joseph, let us know when and how to forgive and to show the same courtesy and love, after all God has forgiven us


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