Pause

Be still

breathe in, breathe out

God’s first language is silence

Be still

breathe in, breathe out

listen closely for the voice of God

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Listen

Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Should I forgive as many as seven times?”

Jesus said, “Not just seven times, but rather as many as seventy-seven times. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle accounts, they brought to him a servant who owed him ten thousand bags of gold. Because the servant didn’t have enough to pay it back, the master ordered that he should be sold, along with his wife and children and everything he had, and that the proceeds should be used as payment. But the servant fell down, kneeled before him, and said, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I’ll pay you back.’ The master had compassion on that servant, released him, and forgave the loan.”

Matthew 18:21-27

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Think

Each person is a work in progress. None of us ever reaches the point where we no longer make mistakes. Our actions – good and bad – have consequences for ourselves, the people close to us, and the communities we live in. Sometimes we do wrong to others and sometimes we are wronged. So, when someone has caused us harm what should we use as a guide for what to do about it?

This is what Peter wants to know when he asks Jesus how many times he should forgive. Then Jesus tells a story about a man who owes more than he could repay in fifteen lifetimes! The master plans to sell him and his family into slavery to pay off the debt, but this man begs for another chance.

God does not want us to keep score or count how many times we give and receive compassion. This is a way of living in community by using the wisdom of accepting our imperfectness and encouraging growth by letting us try again.

Kamal Hassan

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Pray

God, may I remember that you delight in me when I am at my best and my worst. May I forgive and be forgiven. May I be grateful when I am granted another chance. Amen.

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Go

I don’t feel no ways tired,

I come too far from where I started from.

Nobody told me that the road would be easy,

I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me.

from “I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired” by Curtis Burrell (1978)

Kamal Hassan

Rev. Kamal Hassan is the pastor of The Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church in Richmond, California. He lives with his wife Makini and enjoys reading, writing, and hitting tennis balls. Singing and dancing keeps his soul lifted in these troubling times.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

John Morton

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