Father Forgive Them

Ralph McTell

Jesus was a man who kept the company of men
Till he got betrayed by one of them
And surely that must have been the biggest sin
But in his final hour, he even forgave him
And what he asked you then, well I now ask you too
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”

I learnt this Ralph McTell (Streets of London…) song 50 years ago. In our world of terrorism, US elections and British politics it still calls for forgiveness.

Today is Remembrance Sunday. We remember war, victims, survivors and personal sacrifice. McTell directs us to Jesus who called for forgiveness in his death.

2nd November was the annual ‘Baptist Women’s World Day of Prayer’. After the Second World War women who had been on opposite sides in the war came together. Putting aside their pain, anger and division they come together in love, prayer and forgiveness. Now it’s celebrated  throughout the world in 156 countries…

For they too have their cross to bear
In your love, please let them share
For Jesus would have understood
And brought them home to you
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Too often we blame others, make excuses and complain, leading to anger, division and hatred. Jesus message and example was one of humility, forgiveness and love, leading to reconciliation, acceptance, and unity.

For my part, I’m to take responsibility, and pray for forgiveness. With God’s help I can love and forgive others, and love and forgive myself.

Now, most of us are troubled and we cannot understand
Anything that doesn’t fall into our scheme or plan
But it’s we have made the rules, and we must share the blame
For it’s we who make outsiders, and it’s we who give them names
And while we’re praying for them, what we really ought to do
Is say, “Father, forgive them, but please, forgive us too.”

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