March 25, 2013

What's Your Role: Father, Forgive Them

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Throughout this season of Lent, we will be posting a devotional series written for us by Johan Plug - a missionary currently serving in Benin.  

Johan and Marijke Plug are serving the Eglise Reformee Confessante au Benin (ERCB) as advisory pastor and pastor's wife/social worker. They are being sent out by an organization called De Verre Naasten as well as the Reformed churches in the Netherlands.

He will exploring what it means for us to find our God-intended, authentic roles in His Kingdom plan.

The whisper of reconciliation comes to us from a jagged outcrop where people like you and me are crucifying their Lord, God’s gift to mankind being cruelly rejected. And a Good Friday was had by all.

Was there ever a more poignant demonstration of infinite love on God’s side, and guilty ignorance on ours? Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing, Luke 23.34.

I thought of those words repeatedly in the past few days.

On Monday we were happy to announce a food aid program for those most stricken by bad harvests. On Tuesday we had to shelve the program because church leaders were unwilling to let deacons carry it out impartially. On Wednesday we made funds available for the construction of a village chapel. On Thursday the recipient group was in such disaccord that we had to decide to postpone the building. Today a family whose child had been nursed back to health refused to make arrangements to take her back. Three times God’s love was there simply for the taking; three times it stranded upon sinful inability to accept it. If not for forgiveness…

Not just in missions, but certainly also there, there is only one hope which can sustain us. God knows the human condition. And his offer in view of that condition is infinitely loving: forgiveness for those who should know better but don’t. That’s us!

Each year Good Friday is there again. Each year we are reminded of who we really are. Each year we are reminded of Jesus’ response to that. God willing, this Friday we will fully accept his infinite love, and be inspired to share it with those who should know better but don’t.


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