Friday, June 20, 2014

Seventy-seven Times

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:21-35


It hurts when others reject us
turn us out for our difference
when old women refuse their daughters
and fathers turn away from sons.

When God offers us a way out
and we slam the door in anger
when our hurts keep us from turning
this is when we need forgiveness.

It is so hard when those who need love
turn away from love's embrace
those who would rather die than welcome
the stranger God has sent them.

Let it go, the Divine sings to us
offer it up and forgive them now
for they are torn apart inside
and for their shame the family suffers.

They are loved despite themselves
and you are loved beyond measure
let it go and forgive them now
they will fall into the arms of God.


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