Pause

Love itself may be at stake. If we are unable to forgive one another, we will not be able to love.

Perhaps this is why we can declare with confidence that God is love; it is because, first, God is forgiving.

With so much at risk, God will see to it that love does not leave room for resentment. Instead, God will lead in the cause of mercy.

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Listen

Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him — that she is a sinner.” Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “Speak.” “A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

Luke 7:39-43

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Think

Sometimes I can hear the Pharisee’s words in my own thoughts; can you? “He’s one of those kind of guys.” “Do you know who she hangs out with?” The Pharisee here is saying, “If this Jesus guy really were who he says he is, surely he would know about this woman. That she is a sinner. That she is unworthy of being here with him.”

Jesus responds as he often does, with a story. Notice in the story, both people were debtors, both “could not pay.” We are a broken people: the woman, the Pharisee, you, and me. Far too often we take the position of the Pharisee, under the illusion that we somehow are immune or better off than “those sinners.”
Forgiveness makes communion with God possible. We as a broken and fallen people are in desperate need of God’s forgiveness.

May we today claim the need for forgiveness in all of our lives, and may we come together before the God that forgives.

Sara Hunt

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Pray

God, I am sorry for the ways I have sinned against you and my neighbors today. I am like the debtor, unable to pay. Thank you for being the God who cancels all debt. Thank you for your forgiveness. Amen.

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Go

There's a gate just ahead, inviting you to pass through. It is marked "Forgiveness." It leads the way to acceptance, confirmation, recognition, being embraced and held. It takes you down the pathway that brings you love.

Reach out and open easily the latch. Step lightly through the gate's portal. Our forgiving God welcomes you there.

Sara Hunt

Sara Hunt is from Tampa, Florida, and is a graduate of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Currently she resides in the lovely Pasadena, California, where she is studying at Fuller Theological Seminary and sharing life with Fuller’s Intentional Community at Madison Square.

Here I Am to Worship

Ken Medema

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