RADIO LEICESTER Thought for the day

John Denney, Friday, 23 October 1998


So, General Pinochet, the former dictator of Chile, over here for medical treatment, has been arrested on a Spanish extradition warrant.  It’s alleged that he masterminded some atrocious crimes of torture and murder twenty years or so ago.  It’s clear his supporters didn’t expect him to be arrested after all this time.


With Martin O’Neill staying as Leicester City’s manager, I guess many supporters have been cracking a bottle or two of champagne to celebrate.  But perhaps not a bottle of the 1907 vintage Bubbly  brought up from the cold, dark, bottom of the Baltic Sea.  It was part of the cargo of a ship sunk by a German submarine in 1916.  Mind you, a single bottle of it has just been auctioned for  2,400, so small glasses are in order!  They say it hasn’t lost its fizz.  It’s remarkable how something so old and so perishable can have lasted so well.


It’s funny how the past can so often catch up with us, sometimes in a nice way, but sometimes in a disagreeable one. Most of us remember something unpleasant from the past.  Maybe it’s something we said or did that keeps pricking our conscience.  Perhaps we bear a grudge against someone who did something to us.  Perhaps there’s something we should have done but haven’t  Maybe we’re dreading being found out.  These things can be a burden.


Now there is something we can do about this.  Jesus taught us to pray: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  We can ask forgiveness only when we forgive the people who have wronged us.  That’s what Jesus’s words mean.  You see, God knows that when we forgive others, then, and only then, will we be able to receive forgiveness from other people, and from God Himself.  If we can forgive people who have hurt us, then God will forgive us for the things that hurt Him.


Now the things that hurt God are all the things we do which fall short of His standards.  Jesus summed those standards up in the two key commandments: to love God and to love our neighbour as ourself.  But we’re not so hot on the Commandments these days.  How many of us could name all ten?  There’s a story that a Jewish Rabbi remarked to a Christian minister “You took the Ten Commandments from us”.  “Certainly,” came the reply, “but you can’t accuse us of keeping them!”


Well,  how about giving them a try, starting today?


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