Friday, July 04, 2014

Thought for the Day July 4th

As delivered at BBC Radio Bristol this morning:

Two people wake up this morning knowing that a day awaits which may be their last day of freedom for a while.

Rolf Harris, a childhood hero of mine, will be sentenced on twelve counts of indecent assault.

Andy Coulson will be sentenced for conspiracy to intercept voice-mail messages whilst he was editor of the News of the World Newspaper.

Now let me paint you a scenario. Imagine you find yourself in the position of being able to pardon one of these two men. Who is it going to be?

I don't know what you would say but we all carry round in our minds a chart of comparative wrong-doing. 'At least I'm not as bad as...' we say to ourselves.

So in prison - and Rolf Harris has been told to expect that - as a sex offender he will be looked down on by other prisoners. As a child sex offender he will be looked down on by the other sex offenders.

A judge, of sorts, once found himself in the position I placed you in. Who will he pardon? The leader of an insurrection or a popular teacher and preacher. He let the crowd be the judge and they surprised him. 'Release Barabbas', they cried, leaving Jesus to his fate.

The Bible actually says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And so whilst we might all expect, and maybe even be pleased, that today two criminals get their just deserts we might do well to pray for them. For repentance. For turning from their wicked ways.

And to pray a personal prayer too, for if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves.

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