Father Forgive Buzz 5-2014On November 14, 1940, Coventry, England was heavily bombed by the Germans. Among the many buildings destroyed was St. Michael’s Cathedral. Although devastated by their loss and this vicious act of war, the people of Coventry remained faithful to God by turning the ruins of their cathedral into a monument that reminds all of the horrors of war and God’s desire for peace. Using two burned wooden beams from the destroyed roof, a cross was formed that now stands in the ruins with the words “Father Forgive” inscribed on the wall behind it. This sacred place is a reminder to Christians everywhere that we are called to be peacemakers. A new cathedral was constructed adjacent to the charred remains of the former. [a]

I recently had the opportunity to visit this war-torn place that now symbolizes peace and reconciliation to the world. So often when we suffer an injustice, regardless of how large or small, our first thought is to seek revenge. I wonder how different our world would be if we would skip the desire for revenge and fast forward to forgiveness – like the people of Coventry. After all, isn’t that what Jesus died for? From the cross Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

God wants us to be at peace – with Him, with each other, and with ourselves. If we can’t forgive, we can’t experience the contentment (peace) that God offers us through our salvation. Being a peacemaker doesn’t mean we make or declare peace wherever we go. Being a peacemaker allows us to share the inner peace that comes from God, thereby being an example of His peace. [b] “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)Litany of Reconciliation Buzz 5-2014