A recent trip to Rwanda reminded me of the huge power there is in forgiveness.
It is now 25 years since the Rwandan genocide when almost 1 million people were brutally killed in 100 days. The country has moved forward massively since those days as much work was done, and continues to be done, in terms of forgiveness and reconciliation. Families of victims and perpetrators now live side by side, not always without tension and conflict, but there are many amazing stories of forgiveness.
A group from St. Peter’s Church went to Rwanda in 2014 and participated in building a house for one of the widows of the genocide. Remarkably, the land for the house was donated by a neighbour whose family had been killed by the widow’s husband. How hard that must have been? There are many other examples of forgiveness we could quote but we all know how incredibly hard it is when it becomes personal to us.
There is however, such a release and freedom in being able to forgive and to receive forgiveness. It is a very healing process and it restores relationships. We all need forgiveness because we all ‘mess up’. The beauty of Easter is that it reminds us that Jesus Christ freely offers us forgiveness, no matter what we have done. The cruel, barbaric death by crucifixion of an innocent man, the Son of God, means He took the punishment for all the wrong that we have done so that we can be set free and our relationship with God can be restored.
The wonderful thing is that the story does not end there and at Easter we celebrate the most significant event in human history, Jesus Christ rising from the dead. Forgiveness liberates us, the Resurrection gives us hope.
We would love for you to join us at St Peter’s this Easter.
Holy Week Meditations: Monday 15th to Wednesday 17th April, 7.30pm Bring & Share Reflective Family Meal: Thursday 18th April, 7.00pm (please book in advance)
Good Friday: 11am All Age Service & 2pm Hour at the Cross
Easter Sunday: 9am Traditional Holy Communion Service & 11am Morning Worship with Holy Communion