Saturday, March 16, 2013

forgiven and forgiving

Good afternoon friends,
Today's reading is one of my two favorite passages about forgiveness (the other one is tomorrow's reading, and both will be our worship texts for tomorrow). Peter asks Jesus if he should forgive another brother or sister in the church as many as seven times when they sin against him. The way he asks the question, he seems to think forgiving seven times is a stretch, and sometimes it is. Jesus pushes him further (what a surprise) and illustrates the point with a story about God's forgiveness for us. When we ask God's forgiveness, God is immediately willing to forgive. God also expects us to treat others the same way. Jesus warns us not to expect to be forgiven if we clutch our grudges against others to our chest. Challenging words, but also a beautiful invitation to lay down the burden of self-condemnation, because Jesus welcomes us home.

God bless,

Matthew 18:21-35
21Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me,
how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. 

23“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt.

28But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.

32Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 34And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

1 comment:

  1. In real life this is tricky when the same person keeps making the same wrongs against you. It seems like they do not learn from their mistakes. It seems more like enabling to me.