Shopping for Jesus

Am I giving to charity via these glossy catalogs of chickens and goats, or am I just satisfying an insatiable need to shop?

EASTER FEATURE:  The evangelist, the president and the `craft’ of forgiveness

c. 1998 Religion News Service
UNDATED _ They were words whispered in one final, tortured breath:”Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Even as Jesus hung on the cross, badly beaten and nearly dead, he mustered the strength to petition God on behalf of his murderers. Indeed, extending forgiveness _ to the defiantly unrepentant, to the indifferent, and to those who pleaded for mercy _ was a hallmark in the life of the Nazarene, the Gospels say. The adultress that was nearly stoned by an angry mob, the outcast Samaritan woman at the well who had had multiple lovers, and the contrite thief on the next cross at Calvary are but a few who found comfort in Jesus’ opulent offers of forgiveness, acts of mercy seldom witnessed in the ancient world.