Today I experienced a little of what it is like to be forgiven much and to love much.
Abraham returned to Scotland today. I was leaving him to the ferry at the Port of Belfast. Hannah warned me that 1000 cyclists were out somewhere in the Ards Peninsula today, Sunday. To avoid hold ups or upsetting cyclists because I try to overtake them, I decided to take the ferry to Strangford. After farewells to family at home, Abraham and I set off.
We boarded the nine forty five ferry from Portaferry to Strangford. There were about eighteen cars on board. The ticket master came to check my card. One can buy a card for twenty journeys for half the price. He said “Your journey have been paid for.” I looked around to see if there was someone who knew me and kindly paid for my fare. But no. The ticket collector told me someone has paid for everyone on the ferry. A gentleman had bought a card and would not be using it again.
Abraham and I looked at each other. Whoa! That was an unlooked for blessing. It felt unusual to receive this kindness from a complete stranger. Abraham commented that anyone on board who has to pay the full fare will benefit the most from this man’s generosity.
For a moment I felt the love and presence of God. I thought this is what it feels like for someone to pay the price for something I was responsible for. I was able to go free. I experienced a little bit of what Jesus paid for on the cross when he died to forgive my sins, heal my diseases and give me eternal life in heaven. He paid the price for me to go free instead of having to suffer for my wrongdoings and go to hell.
Here is a reading from scripture which tells us about Jesus forgiveness.
“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.
As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender.
One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,”
Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house.
You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.
You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.
Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.””
I did not argue with the ticketmaster and say, “I don’t want to accept this man’s offer. I insist on paying for my own passage.” Perhaps one can feel as if one doesn’t deserve this kindness. One has to learn to receive. Sometimes we say something like that to Jesus when we don’t accept his sacrifice on the cross to pay for one’s sins and go free. Let us be like the woman who washed Jesus feet. She received Jesus forgiveness. Having been forgiven much let us love much.