Asking for forgiveness is hard.

It means realizing that you’ve hurt someone. It means accepting responsibility.

Asking for forgiveness is also deeply intimate.

It means acknowledging that the relationship you have with someone is close enough that you can hurt them. It means being vulnerable.

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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 18:23-27

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Jesus tells us a parable — a story intended to teach a lesson about something important. This parable starts with a considerable debt being forgiven. What is noteworthy here is that the debt is forgiven when the servant asks his king for patience. The servant asks the king for time to repay what is owed, and in response the king acts extravagantly — cancelling the debt and letting the servant go.

When have you been in the king’s position, realizing that there are people out there who owe you something? When have we been in the servant’s position, begging for the chance to make it up to the king? How have we reacted in those situations? There is nothing here the servant did to deserve this mercy, and yet the king, when asked for patience, responds abundantly.

Can we forgive so big?

Kirstin Swanson

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God, I know you call me to be like the king: to forgive a person when the debt they hold against me is insurmountable. Open my eyes and ears and heart to cries for forgiveness, that I may be abundant in my response and attentive to restoring relationships. Amen.

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Each day is a new chance to act with compassion and offer forgiveness.

May your eyes, ears, and heart be opened to the new beginnings forgiveness can offer, for the forgiver and the forgiven.

Kirstin Swanson

Kirstin Swanson lives and works in Staten Island, NY, where she is a freelancing fundraiser and grant writer. She has worshiped and served in lay leadership in Episcopal churches in the New York City area and is blessed to share her home with her husband and two young children.

Making Space - Day By Day

Carter Harrell

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