Matthew 18: 10-31
In today’s passage, Jesus answered Peter’s question with a story, a story about a king who wishes to settle accounts with his servants, many of whom owe him money.
The king who quit keeping score on his servant wants to know why his servant could not do the same thing, and all I can figure is that the servant missed the significance of what had happened to him. If the servant could remember who he was and how much he owed, how could he fail to pass it on?
The servant missed the experience of forgiveness altogether. It never crossed his mind that what was really happening to him was that he was being forgiven from the heart by someone who understood the enormity of his debt, by someone who had financed it; but who was willing to let it all go, and to stop keeping score that had become a substitute for the relationship so that they could get to know one another again.
The only reason for any of us ever to forgive each other is because we want the relationship back again, which is hard to do when we are keeping score.
Saint Augustine says, “…a church was called to be an approximation of the city of God on Earth.” Well, we all know how hard it is for us to live out that phrase--being and doing an approximation of the city of God on Earth. In addition, one of those Jesus’s teachings—forgiving others—that we know is right, that we all know we should take, but one that is very hard to act upon.
The message we should focus on in today’s parable is that it matters for us to understand that we have already been forgiven by God whom we owe everything—our life, our health and wealth, and all the loves of our lives.
Once we have really taken that into our own heart, how, how can we pass up a single chance to do the same?
When someone crosses us, we are called to be the first to reach out, even when we are the ones who have been hurt, even when God knows we have done nothing wrong, even when everything in us wants to fight back.
We are still called to community with one another, to act like the family we are. That’s how we know God and how God knows us. Then eventually unbelievers may know God thorough our life together. That is what we are called to do—to confront and make up, to forgive and seek forgiveness, to heal and to be healed.
Thanks be to God.