March 9, 2021

The Gospel

Peter came and said to Jesus, “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 would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”


Matthew 18:21–35 (LectionaryPage.net)

The Offering

From Ben Hatley

 

There’s a concept in psychology, summed up in one phrase “Drop the Rope.” It is used as a way for people to accept lingering thoughts or anxieties in their heads. Its explanation is fairly simple. If you try and try to get a thought out of your head with no luck (pulling on a rope that doesn’t budge) then there is no way to get the thought out of your head except to let it be (dropping the rope). I think this practice applies to forgiveness, and especially the feelings that typically come in the absence of forgiveness (anger, revenge, vindictiveness). When someone does something that hurts you, instead of dwelling on it, you can drop the rope and move on. Forgiveness doesn’t have to be an overt display. Other people don’t necessarily need to know you’ve forgiven somebody. As long as you know you’ve dropped that rope, you can continue with a clear mind and peaceful heart.

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