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Truly I tell you,
today you will be with me in paradise.
God’s wrath doesn’t destroy people,
it destroys darkness
‘Jesus, remember me when you come to your throne’.
That was all he said.
He didn’t say
‘I believe you are the Christ’
He didn’t even say,
‘Jesus, remember me;
remember the robber who found himself so unwillingly at your side.’
He received no instruction,
he made no profession of faith,
he was never baptized!
Is the love of God in Christ so comprehensive?
If this was good enough for a robber to enter paradise,
what happens to ecclesiastical protocol?
Jesus, your love has a way
of breaking through barriers
and reaching out in unexpected ways to unexpected people.
It is a love so much greater than our own
and we suspect that it includes people
whom we have written off.
Forgive us our failures of love
and in your mercy bring us at the end
to be together with all your people
in your eternal kingdom.
- Have we ever been surprised by the actions of somebody we thought we had categorized well and truly as a loser/bad egg/ whatever? Have we surprised ourselves by doing something we believed impossible?
- Who are those we assume will be ‘last’? Does any person, or any group, think of us as ‘last’?
- What situations in the world do we think of as unfair?
- Do we sometimes think people deserve the bad things that happen to them?
- When have God’s ways not been our ways? How can we know, how do we know, what God’s ways are?
- What do we deserve? And what, thanks to God in Jesus, do we get?
Lord Jesus, remember us
When you come into your kingdom.
Not for our impressive CV,
Nor for the things
Which we hope will appear in our obituaries.
Remember us, not for the virtues we occasionally display
or for any credit we think we have in our moral account.
As one of the criminal community
Who hung by your side,
And if life will not let us be in paradise with you today,
Keep a place for us.
To think about:
- To be is to mean something to someone else
- Waiting for what you most desire may be blinding you to what you already have.
- We are affected by past events but not ruled by them.
- God decided from eternity that you cannot have your cake and eat it- even if you’re God. In creating us God underwrote the cost himself, a cost beyond price.
Faith- something pieced together out of the broken bits of our lives,
and is concerned with being a little bit righteous and a little bit holy
because that’s what God wants from us.
It is in the best sense, homemade,
it doesn’t come off anyone’s shelf, it belongs to us;
it is our discovery of the nature of God.