Friday 5th March 2021
Fish and forgiveness
One of my favourite hobbies used to be salmon fishing. Years ago, I had access to fishing on the River Don and the River Dee. (Since all salmon must now be returned to the water because of declining numbers my interested has waned.) But I still remember the thrill of catching one or two salmon each season. I would bring the fish home and divide it up amongst the family who all enjoyed freshly caught wild salmon.
Preparing a salmon can of course be a messy buisness. Removing and disposing of the insides does generate a certain amount of debris – the inner organs, fins and fish scales, head and tail etc. Not forgetting the blood. On one occasion, I carried the necessary operation to prepared a salmon for consumption and some flecks of blood travelled across the utility room and deposited themselves on a basket of freshly ironed clothes. I think you can image what happened next…
Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”
The hardest part of the Christian faith is forgiveness. I refer here not to those thoughtless acts which create friction or annoyance, like a basket for ironing which needs to be re-laundered and re-ironed by somebody who detests ironing! Rather, here Jesus is addressing the heart of the human condition – that we all make our own personal contribution to the brokenness of the world. In this we are both perpetrators and victims. This is why forgiveness is central to our understanding of the Christian Faith. As we encounter and experience God’s forgiveness, we find the grace to forgive ourselves and forgive others who have hurt us. To forgive the people who have really hurt you is that hardest thing that God will ever ask. But there is no other way.
Rev Sean Swindells
Cruden Parish Church
Forgiveness is mercy.
Such pardon and kindness I cannot fathom.
Forgiveness is unfailing love.
Such patience and understanding I cannot comprehend.
Forgiveness is overwhelming compassion.
Such sympathy and warmth I cannot reciprocate.
Forgiveness is the blotting out of transgressions.
Such freedom and good will I do not deserve.
Forgiveness is the washing away of my iniquities.
Such purity and newness I cannot maintain.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
Based on (Psalm 51:13,15)
By Steve Brown
A litany for the Season of Lent
In the softness of evening,
in the solace of silence we come to you, O Lord.
We come for acceptance;
we come for community;
we come for forgiveness and love.
In the serenity of day's end,
in the restfulness of worship, we come to you O Lord.
We come to you for respite;
we come to you for completion;
we come to you for forgiveness and love.
In the quiet of the night,
in the comfort of darkness we come to you, O Lord.
We come for peace;
we come for comfort;
we come for forgiveness and love.
We come, O Lord of Light,
seeking the illumination of your Word.
We come for the path we can't find;
we come for the life we don't have.
We come to you for our lives are death
and you alone have breath and being. Amen
This is what the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, says,
“No longer will their faces grow pale.
They will keep my name holy;
and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
When they do,
those who are wayward in spirit
will gain understanding.
and those who complain.
will accept instruction.”
And those who are faithful.
will know that forgiveness is ours
through the promised Son of God!
Believe and have faith in God’s mercy and grace,
given to all who proclaim and believe.
that in Jesus Christ we are forgiven!
May God the Father,
who does not despise the broken spirit,
give to you a contrite heart.
who bore our sins in his body on the tree,
heal you by his wounds.
May the Holy Spirit,
who leads us into all truth,
speak to you words of pardon and peace.
And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.