The power of forgiveness
Rev Bob Rodd - Crieff Seventh-day Adventist Church
When I was a little boy, just after the war, my sister and I used to love going to our grandparents for Christmas because their house had electricity and it was so bright.
Our house was in the country and electricity had not yet reached it and it was lit by lamps and candles and it was so dark.
One Christmas morning, when I was excitedly going downstairs to find my presents, my grandmother told me to wash my hands before breakfast. I could not understand this as I had washed them before going to bed the night before! Obediently I went into the bathroom and had the surprise of my life. The bath was half full of water and floating in it was a beautiful toy yacht with white sails and a pink and white hull.
This was an incredible present because toys were so scarce after the war. The yacht was made by a German prisoner of war. Some months before, we were walking on the beach with my grandfather and we met a man. My grandfather said‘hallo’and we found the man was a prisoner of war. The prisoner of war camp was nearby and the prisoners were allowed quite a lot of freedom.
My grandfather could have sworn at him or simply passed him by as he was the enemy who had caused us so much suffering, but he was a kind man and talked to him and then invited him to our house for egg and chips. Willie (that was his name) came quite often and out of thankfulness, made me the yacht. His daughter became my sister’s penpal and he and his wife came back to visit after the war.
This kindness of my grandfather showed the power of forgiveness and how it can make friends of enemies. This is what Christmas celebrates because it is the wonderful story of Jesus coming into this world to forgive our sins by his death on the cross and to enable us to be his friends for eternity.
Wishing you a joyous and blessed Christmas.
Saturday, December 23 - Christmas Family Service, 11.15 am, children’s nativity play, carols and sweets.
Christmas Day service - 10. 30 am, carols, readings, musical items, followed by punch and mince pies. All welcome.