Luke tells us that the first word that the dying Jesus uttered was one of forgiveness freely given to his enemies. The surprising thing is the reason Jesus gives for forgiving them. He says that the political and religious leaders who committed him to death did not know what they were doing. It is their ignorance that led Jesus to the cross.
Is this really true? Was the crucifixion not a planned, deliberate, and willful act? How is it that Jesus sees it as something his enemies did because of “not knowing”?
The mothers in my home village in India had a standard defense against the wrongs that their children did. When neighbors complained, they would say that their child did not know better, and it was the child’s ignorance that led to the wrongdoing. Such a view of sin is foremost in our culture as well. Jesus’ forgiving his enemies mirrors the motherly love of God because all those who are standing around are the children of God the Mother.
Those who live under the reign of Christ are invited to practice such motherly love to one another. It is not easy to live out such love; we need God’s love flowing into our hearts.
God our Mother, fill our hearts with your love so that we can forgive others, even our enemies, unconditionally. Amen.
Our readings for the week highlight the Reign of Christ. Jeremiah prophesies about a future King from the line of David who will bring justice, righteousness, and security for the people of God. Luke 1 records the song of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. Zechariah praises God for raising up salvation from the house of David as God had promised through the prophets. This child will bring mercy, forgiveness, and light. Luke 23 recounts part of the story of the death of Jesus. Here Jesus, the Light of the world, dies as an act of mercy for our forgiveness. In Colossians, Christ holds first place above everything else. Through his death we are forgiven and brought from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.
Read Jeremiah 23:1-6. How do you trust in God’s promises to bring safety and justice as you watch unjust rulers oppress and abandon their followers?
Read Luke 1:68-79. What will you say when you break your silence?
Read Colossians 1:11-20. Recall a time when you waited for something in great anticipation. How did your faith help you find patience?
Read Luke 23:33-43. How do you recognize Christ as King when you experience or witness suffering?
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