Conduit of Forgiveness

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“Then 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?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. ‘For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, 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. “So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But 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.” Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt.” (Matthew 18:21-30)  You have to hand it to Peter; he really is the foundation (rock) of the church which will follow him.  Unfortunately, that includes many of our dumb questions and far worse, our attempts to find a limit for grace.  That is on full display in his effort at clarification here: “so just how many times do I really have to forgive?”  In response, Jesus tells the parable and as per usual crushes Peter’s (and our) lame attempts.  Forgiveness is difficult at times, isn’t it?  Perhaps we could go so far as to say it seems downright impossible in some situations.  And yet we are left with Jesus’ reminder that we in the church have all been forgiven unpayable debts.  Better said, it is far more than a reminder; it is an invitation to participate in a power that is not ours.  What if we are not so much the source of forgiveness but only a conduit?  What if we really do belong to a God who is so generous that he will allow his forgiveness to flow through fragile, bean-counting (“as many as seven times!”) folks like us?  Remember who you are.  Remember you are forgiven!

By | 2017-09-20T12:51:14+00:00 September 20th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

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