Forgive #AtoZChallenge

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.
#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter FForgiveness is an important theme throughout the Bible. In many prayers God is asked to forgive people either individually or en masse.

People are also asked for forgiveness, for example after the death of their father, the sons of Jacob ask Joseph for forgiveness. Genesis 50:15-21

Jesus Christ taught about forgiveness in parables and in his answers to questions. In the prayer he taught his disciples forgiveness is important – both being forgiven and forgiving other people. Matthew 6:12 and Luke 11:4 How many times should I forgive? Luke 17:3-4, Matthew 18:21-22

In one story Jesus told there is a marked contrast with the passage from Deuteronomy (mentioned in my Letter D post) about a son, who would not be disciplined by his parents. In Deuteronomy the son would be stoned to death. The story for today’s post has a different outcome.

The wayward son and the forgiving father

There was a family with two sons. They worked the land and made a good living, but the younger son was not content. He wanted to see the world. By all the customs of the time, he would have been expected to work within his family and be content. Only after the death of his father would he expect to inherit any property or money.

He was impatient and asked his father to give him his share in advance. His father agreed, dividing his estate between the two sons before the younger son set off on his travels. With money to spend, he lived a debauched life. When he ran out of money he had no friends. There was a famine in the land. He went to work for a farmer – presumably a gentile as he kept pigs, which were not allowed to be eaten according to  the Law of Moses. He was hungry. In fact he was so hungry that he thought about eating the same food as the pigs.

His thoughts turned to his earlier life and his comfortable home. He realised that his father’s paid servants were better off than he was. He went back home to ask his father’s forgiveness and for a job.

His father saw him in the distance and did something, which was not considered dignified at the time. He ran to meet his son and welcomed him home. He restored him as a member of the family and ordered that a feast be prepared to celebrate his return.

The older brother was jealous. He complained that he had worked constantly and his father had never given him anything to have a party with his friends. The father pointed out that everything he had belonged to the older son, but he was celebrating the return of one, who had been lost to him.

The story Jesus told is written in Luke 15:11-31

F is for ‘Father forgive them’ and friends

My posts for the A to Z Challenge this year are all about the Easter Story, recorded in 4 books of the New Testament: the Gospels. Image in sidebar links to Theme Reveal post.

Image in sidebar or below post links to Theme reveal

On the first Good Friday Jesus Christ had been nailed to a wooden cross and was dying a criminal’s death between two convicted criminals on crosses either side of him. He prayed to his heavenly Father, that he would forgive the people, who had brought about his crucifixion and those who were dividing up his clothes. ‘Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing.Luke 23:34

Jesus had taught his disciples (Letter D) about forgiveness. When they asked him how many times they should forgive someone and suggested seven times, Jesus had replied, ‘Seventy times seven’. This is a large enough number that anyone would have lost count. Thus he was teaching that forgiveness should always be practised. He demonstrated this in his own life. Matthew 18:21-22

Jesus claimed to be one with the Father. He could have been too high and mighty to have friends, but he told his disciples, ‘I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.John 15:15 (NIVUK)

My Theme Reveal contains links to the Easter story in the New Testament.


G is for gradient #AtoZChallenge

For the A to Z in April Challenge 2019 I have picked some words, which are connected with physical space.

G is for gradient meaning slope –
The height for distance quotient
Equals it, I hope.
At sums are you proficient?

A road sign on a steep hill

Living on a hill in a hilly county I am aware of changing gradients beneath my feet. Drivers of cars with manual gears need to notice the changing levels of roads in order to be in the optimum gear. Choosing too high a gear going up a hill could cause the car to slow down and even stall the engine!

Low gears are also recommended for driving downhill. The engine helps slow the car and avoids wear and tear on the brakes.

On railways there are trackside signs indicating the gradient. Embankments, cuttings and tunnels are used to avoid slopes. Trains travel more efficiently on level ground.

At sea there is another word for gradient or slope: list. If the decks are not horizontal it is due to a list.

Climbing mountains in the Bible leads to some significant events. Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Jesus Christ was transfigured on a high mountain.

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