Saturday, November 21, 2015

All My Relations

Then 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 
 All My Relations

As the winter sky drops dark and low
I think about all my relations
the ones who shaped us and mistreated us
the ones who bent their time for our learning
the ones who put themselves first and
the ones who fed us sheltered us
and named us home.

The relatives who swoop and soar
remind us of the spring to come
the darkness that is brooding growth
the changes needed to make us strong
the silence in which the Creator whispers
calling us to widen our understanding.

The babies and the elders sing their songs
and we bustle around to care for them
they ask us to sit and visit and to play
we are impatient and always working
but the call of all our relations is always near
the ones who have walked on asking us
to linger with the vulnerable and weak
the sad, the lonely and the weary
in them we will see the face of Christ
and by them we will be made new again.

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