Pastor’s Pen: Forgiveness is at the heart of the Christian faith

Rev Alan Millar.
Rev Alan Millar.

Recently a dear friend gave me a book entitled, ‘Servant Queen and The King She Serves.’ The book is a pictorial and written tribute for Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. It begins at the outbreak of World War II and covers her life up to the present day. The author, William Shawcroft, Royal Biographer, punctuates the years with the Queen’s Christmas message. Always in her message the Queen refers to her faith in Jesus Christ, how she has lived her life and served the people according to the teaching and example of Jesus, which was a sacrificial service - Jesus came to serve, not to be served. The Queen treats all people with equal dignity and respect, regardless of class, colour, creed or religion. (John 3:16)

A recurring theme of the Queen’s Christmas messages is forgiveness and reconciliation, both of which she draws from her faith. In 2011 she said: “Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general (important though they are) – but a Saviour, with the power to forgive. Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.”

The Queen has had her own personal tragedies in life and yet through her faith she continues to have the capacity to forgive, and this because of her faith in Christ.

Jesus is quite clear about forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a suggestion but a command. In Matthew 6 v14 and 15 we read His words: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Not until we are fully aware of, and accept the vastness of God’s forgiveness of our sins through Jesus, can we ever hope to be able to forgive those who have wronged us. How deep the Father’s love for us!

Yes, many vile things happen, but they will be judged by the Supreme Judge. So, who is it that you need to forgive? There is power in the blood of Jesus who forgave us our sins. Know that power today and forgive.

By Rev Alan Millar