A few weeks ago I was asked to attend a memorial service for someone that I never met in my life. Such are family commitments. The service was for a child, and was every bit as sentimental and content-free as I had feared.
I have never suffered from any urge whatsoever to be “religious”. As I endured the empty words, inevitably the temptation emerged to, shall we say, modify them slightly.
This got me into trouble when we reached and recited the Lord’s Prayer:
And forgive us our sins,
As we forgive those who sin against us. The bastards.
I did not realise that I had said this aloud, but the lady sitting next to me tugged at my sleeve and firmly instructed me to be quiet!
But actually, isn’t that exactly what Our Lord is asking us to do? To forgive the bastards who did us an injury. To forgive those we think of in such terms?
All the same, I don’t think that I will be asked along to another such endurance test soon. Thankfully!