During the Season of Easter, NMO-UMC is focusing on The Lord’s Prayer. We will explore each petition and its meaning in the Bible, what we ask of God and what we ask of ourselves through its words, and how to use it as a pattern for our own prayer life.
The essence of forgiveness is choosing to let go or release the right of retribution, anger, or bitterness. It is letting go of the right to hold the offense over another’s head. It does not however, excuse the action of the one who wronged us nor say that it didn’t matter. Our message, Forgive…As We Forgive, will come from Matthew 18:21-33.
Matthew 18:21-33 (NRSV)
21Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. 23“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25and, 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. 26So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28But 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.’ 29Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’