Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he died.” vs. 60

Acts 7:59-60

Alone among the gospel writers, Luke reports that Jesus spoke words of forgiveness from the cross, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” And now we hear similar words from the first martyr, Stephen, as he is being stoned. Their voices remind us that sometimes people of faith can participate in wretched and ugly acts of persecution, and even murder. Sometimes we just plain get it wrong! We can see this clearly in retrospect, but it’s harder to detect when we’re caught up in the passions of the times. Church folks have engaged in genocide, tortured fellow believers, burned witches, defended slavery, practiced homophobia, marginalized women—the list goes on and on. And always they’ve thought they were following God’s laws. Truly it can be said that if it weren’t for God’s grace, none of us could stand. What a blessing it is then that forgiveness is the last word heard from Jesus and from Stephen! It’s often hard to figure out the will of God in times of contention and strife, and all we can do is muddle our way through. Sometimes it takes years for us to see where we’ve been on the wrong side of justice–and some never figure it out at all! How good it is when we can take God’s forgiveness to heart, and then receive the courage to keep on muddling!

Thought for the Day: When have I been wrong when I thought I was right?


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