Rev James Bamber
There was once an orphan who wanted nothing more in the world than to belong to a family...to be chosen. Finally, aged eight, his opportunity came. With hope and excitement, he collected his few possessions together...his old, torn clothes and a single teddy. His new parents were thrilled to have him and threw a special dinner to celebrate. He was introduced to the other children in the area, and his old clothes were replaced with new ones. He was bought a new bike and soon began to feel at home. However, one thing puzzled him. His old shoes with holes in them hadn't been thrown away but were kept on the mantelpiece. The enigma was soon solved because every time he did something wrong his father would go and fetch the shoes and say, "Look at all we've done for you...but look at how you've behaved."
I suspect there are times in our relationships when we behave in a similar way, choosing to dredge up the past and reuse it. The plan period will see us journey through Lent into Easter, a season for remembering that forgiveness as God intends, is about throwing out the shoes too, refusing to let past mistakes govern the present. The Good News we live by and proclaim is the Gospel of the umpteenth chance something which is reiterated in Mark 16:7, 'But go, tell his disciples and Peter...' Finding someone who will give us a second chance can be rare in these times — much less someone who keeps on doing so. In Jesus, Peter found both and so can we.
With love and prayers,
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