Today is Remembrance Sunday, and we will pause at around 11am to pay our respects and honour those who have given their lives through many conflicts, both historically and more recently.
Peace is a fragile concept, given to us when we choose to forgive rather than fight, serve rather than control, love rather than hate. A commitment to live in peace is not a sign of weakness, but an indication of strength of character. In the face of battle and strife, when we are courageous enough to seek resolution rather than live in hurt and indignation, we are really finding the heart of God. When you think about it, that’s exactly what Jesus chose to do in laying down His life. He resolved the conflict that had raged between God and man since way back, with love, humility and sacrifice.
The power of the cross is also the power of forgiveness. As Jesus looked down at those who were mocking and scorning while he was dying on the tree, he asked, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ (Luke 23:33) I want to encourage you today: be generous with your forgiveness; doing so breaks the chains that can so easily ensnare us. If that’s a difficult ‘ask’, maybe a fresh look at the cross is in order; it’s there that we really get a handle on how much we have been forgiven, and why we are required to forgive too! God not only understands the power of forgiveness and the freedom it brings, He demonstrated it , that we might all live in the benefit!