Conquering by forgiveness

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and
strength and honour and glory and praise – Revelation 5 :12

Take a Moment to Ponder

William Blake’s immortal words – The Glory of Christianity is to conquer the world by forgiveness is the essence of the octave of the Feast of Christ the King which closes of every Liturgical year.   The reading for the Feast Day is usually an excerpt from the Passion Narrative which reminds us of the majesty and the endurance of God’s love.  Human history has shown over and over again that the best way for humanity to come back from the brink of destruction is not to seek in a similar manner the destruction of those who set out to kill us but instead to answer them with love and of course love’s chief work which is forgiveness. The late Martin Luther King understood this well when he says, ” love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend” The power of this reality sometimes escapes us in our day to day realities, but, the truth is, it is our ability to forgive each other, that keeps the world spinning and life continuing.  The moment that we lose our ability to do so then we risk bitterness and all its associated evils taking control of the world.

Therefore, let us not lose sight of the fact that in the book of Revelation when the writer in chapter 5:5  was looking to see a towering figure described as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, he saw instead a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain.   It is this Lamb that we celebrate in the Agnus Dei, when we say, O Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world: Have Mercy On Us.  Yes, this is who we are as Christians,  we celebrate that we conquer the world by the power of forgiveness.

Take action

Read up on what transpired in South Africa after the dismantling of the Apartheid regime and the Rwandan Genocide.   What role did the pursuit of forgiveness play in the healing of those nations?

Think about how forgiveness has to be a part of your daily existence.  Think of where you might have to forgive yourself

Continue to pray for places in conflict.  Let us remember the Israeli and Palestinian conflict and the situation in Haiti

A Moment in Prayer

Lord Jesus as we celebrate your kingly reign, make us desirous to be part of your kingdom by committing ourselves to be agents of reconciliation and forgiveness in our families, work, community and nation.  We ask this by the power of your Holy Spirit as we seek to be called the children of God. Amen.

Contributed by Canon Michael Allen