Vol 7 No. 31 Forgiveness

Dear Folks,


I want to begin this newsletter by mentioning what seems like an irrelevant observation, in that it is my mother, Elizabeth’s, 81st birthday.  She wouldn’t care that you knew how old she was; she wouldn’t see why it would be worthy of mention.  The fact is that my mother, in many ways, sums up many of the themes I am talking about this summer; Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Commitment, the desire to see people come to faith, and a deep awareness of the spiritual battle that is part of our world. She has been incredibly formative spiritually to me, as many in literature will tell you when it comes to mothers.  I am old enough to have lived at a time when your 21st birthday was a big deal; when my parents asked me what gifts I would like I asked for a recording of Handel’s Messiah and a complete set of The Chronicles of Narnia books…both were, and still are, powerful, spiritual inheritances for me from my Mom.

I want to build on last week’s story about Coventry Cathedral. I want to bring us to the theme of forgiveness when it comes to that church. Coventry Cathedral is the only church that I have ever made a pilgrimage to. In fairness, I also visited on the same weekend as the Royal Agricultural Fair! I commend both visits to you for wildly different reasons. The city of Coventry was badly damaged by Nazi bombers in the Second World War. The Cathedral was completely destroyed except for its outside walls. The morning after the bombing, someone came into the still smouldering building and committed one of the most audacious acts of the Second World War. They took two charred beams from the wreckage and nailed them together in the form of the cross and placed a sign over the cross with the words of Jesus “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”.

To explain more of this story would be to take away from it. Save that all of us are called to forgive because we have been forgiven and that all of us are able to love because we have first been loved.



In Christ,