Sunday, September 11, 2011
Remembrance to Forgiveness
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
Ten Years After
The first strikes came with disbelief
then fear rose up and horror surrounded
we stopped breathing and called home.
Every single life lost shattered
families, communities, faith
a thousand bells rung cannot bring them back.
We prayed and cried and held survivors
as anger replaced our disbelief, tight-fisted
we stood trembling in desperate prayer.
Some ran to help, some to watch
some sat by the phone waiting for evidence
that their precious one was spared.
Today the name are read, voices raw with loss
high voices of children, ancient old men,
names etched in bronze, solid gold on hearts.
We wanted revenge we wanted to punish
and we raged and warred by then silence
overtook us and held us still.
Colors and cultures we are children all
mothers, fathers, brothers, sons and daughters,
a common family broken to be remade anew.
At first a whisper in the night, forgive
then, "Not seven times, but, I tell you,
seventy-seven times" the voice of the crucified.
Ten years after, we weep, we ache for loss,
and we are moved to make life better
for our common worldwide family.
God help us to gather our tears make us streams of living waters.
O Gracious Creator make us a flood of forgiving hearts and may forgiveness
water the fertile earth and plant in us the seeds of healing, the seeds of hope, as we see the heart of God in every face today. Amen