The New Room has been sharing a Friday reflection each week. We hope that these short reflections act as a point of spiritual focus, enabling a moment of quiet thought and prayer.
Today’s reflection falls on Good Friday, and we’re pleased to share a special Friday Reflection with you from Revd Richard Teal.
Revd Richard Teal is the President of the Methodist Conference this year. He has a special interest in rural ministry and mission and is using this year to give this area of the church a particular emphasis. He is married to Susan and has two sons. After 11 years as Chair of the Cumbria Methodist District, he has returned to Circuit ministry in East Yorkshire.
Read Luke 23 v 32-34: ‘Father Forgive them: for they do not know what they are doing’
We know what they were doing! They were busy, with things only too familiar to our world: the greed that sells a friend for money; the fear that denies one’s leader for survival; the cynicism that smears an innocent for political gain; the cruelty that tortures a prisoner for entertainment: the expediency that washes its hands of moral decision making; the mob spirit that exults in a victim’s suffering; the stupidity that calls good evil and evil good. That’s what was going on! That’s what they were doing. If they didn’t know it, we do.
More important is what was Jesus doing? Jesus was about to die, and he would die as he lived. A special wholeness of being happens when a person’s thoughts, words, and deeds all come together to tell the same story. That sort of congruence is what we call integrity. For most of us, no matter how ardently we seek it, total integrity eludes us. Our deeds too often fall short of our declared intentions; many of our words bear no resemblance to what we are really thinking at the time; and some of our thoughts must simply remain veiled in shame.
With those words, ‘’Father, forgive them’’, a new way of life patterned by Jesus has been passed on to us all. Difficult though it may be, the practice of this love lies at the centre of the salvation story. The challenge will not go away, and in each generation, God still gives us glimpses of the Christ power of forgiving love.
Lord Jesus on this special day, forgive my sins, renew your love in my heart, help me to live in unity with others and proclaim by word and deed your forgiving power.