During Lent, we are having soup suppers at St. Barnabas (Wednesday evenings at 6:30, all welcome) to get together and ponder a Lenten theme: “No greater love.” Participants are encouraged to bring personal reflections, readings, songs, or other materials that illustrate the theme. Here is one:
O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will.
But do not remember all of the suffering they have inflicted upon us;
instead, remember the fruits we have borne because of this suffering —
our fellowship, our loyalty to one another, our humility,our courage, our generosity,
the greatness of heart that has grown from this trouble.
When our persecutors come to be judged by you, let all of these fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.
It is poignant to learn that these lines were found among the bodies in the Ravensbruck concentration camp, where more than 92,000 died.
It is hard enough to forgive people in the ordinary bumps and bruises of life. Here the writer is seeking forgiveness for a historic crime. The writer’s love shines out as a light in darkness, transcending evil and death. When we see something like this, part of us responds, “here is truth, here is a key to the universe!”
Consider then that the holy God, seeing us separated from him by sin, became man and lived among us, knowing that he would be rejected and unjustly put to death. Nevertheless, he voluntarily suffered and died with these words on his lips, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!” By his death, Jesus (who was and is God) took upon himself the punishment due to all of us, freely and out of love, so that we might be forgiven and live forever with God. Here is truth, here is a key to the universe!
Join us and share with us in God’s love. We gather at 6:30 pm on Wednesday nights.
Blessings for a Holy Lent!