about writing and life and God

Peace I give to you

on September 10, 2012


I went to church twice yesterday. I’m not boasting. Just stating the fact. I had the morning free so I was able to attend my home church and see friends. Then in the evening I was leading the service at a nearby church. Theme: forgiveness.

It struck me: what does Jesus say about going to church? How many times on a Sunday are we meant to turn up?

Please feel free to reach for your concordance and check. Then while you’re at it, look at the entries for forgiveness.

There’s rather a lot of those. And Jesus is up-front about his requirements: we’re told to forgive our brother (and I’m sure he intended that to include our sisters too, not to mention our mothers and fathers and cousins and aunts and uncles and…

You get my drift, I’m sure)… well he actually specifies seventy times seven.

7 x 70 = 490

This is not the quota of forgiving we have for use in a lifetime.

It’s the number of times we should forgive one person.

How many persons are in your life? Multiply up those 490s. It comes to a lot.

A lot of forgiving.

We have a choice: hang on to our hurts and our grudges, nursing them to keep them warm (Scottish reference of the day: from Robert Burns’ poem Tam O’Shanter) – or we can open our hands and let the grudges – all the toxic stuff  – drop.

Iris Murdoch in The Nice and the Good said:

“What can you do with the past?

Forgive it. Let it enter into you in peace.”


Because when you forgive, you make room in your heart and your life for peace.

And peace is precious – whether you’re a care-giver, a writer, a home-maker… We all need peace.


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