Forgive as you have been forgiven
There is a short-story entitled, “The Three Hermits” written by Leo Tolstoy, a Communist who accepted Christ Jesus and became a Christian. This story is about three hermits who lived alone on an island. One day a ship was passing by carrying several passengers one of whom was a Bishop. The Bishop asked about the island and its inhabitants. After the Captain explained about the three hermits, the Bishop insisted to be taken to see them.
The three hermits stood waving to the approaching row boat. When the Bishop debarked the boat and stepped on the island, and came face to face with the hermits, he asked them what they did on the island.
The hermits replied “We pray.”
“How do you pray?” asked the Bishop.
They said, “Three are ye, three are we, have mercy upon us.”
“That’s not how you pray!” said the Bishop, “this is how you pray”—and proceeded to teach them “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name…”
Feeling very pleased with himself, the Bishop returned to the ship and continued on his way. He sat looking off the bow of the ship into the moonlight that shone upon the water. In doing so, something began to appear, traveling towards the ship at a high rate of speed. As the images got closer he could hear that something was being shouted toward the ship. The Bishop looked closer and, to his amazement, saw the three hermits scooting across the water. Now the Bishop heard the words they were shouting—
“Bishop, Bishop, wait! We have forgotten the words!”
In astonishment and amazement the Bishop shouted back, “It’s all right, continue to pray as you were praying. Three are ye, three are we, have mercy upon us.” It is not the words you say, but what is in your heart.
The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. (Matthew 6:9-13) and He taught them “Our Father who is in heaven…”
First give thanks to God; acknowledge that God is, was, and always will be your God. “Three are ye,”
Second, He taught them to pray for their daily needs. “Three are we,”
Third, ask for forgiveness for yourself and strength for you to forgive as you would have God forgive you.
Fourth, ask that God would protect you from all temptation and keep you from evil. “Have mercy on us!” Then sandwich it all in by giving God all the glory and honor. Amen (So be it)
“The past is filled with mistakes
That cannot be erased,
Except if one knows what it takes,
This is to know His saving grace.
The cross made the difference for me.
And now I am set free.”
(*ETC page 351-352)
“Three are ye, three are we, have mercy upon us.”
All honor and glory are yours, Almighty Father.
God leads us through the storm—reach out and take his hand and like Peter, you will be able to not only stand, but you will be able to walk on water singing a new song, a song of joy.
–Rev. Betty A. Beach-Connell
Author of “Embracing the Call”
(God can lead you to places you never imagined)
*Embracing the Call