October from the Pastor

Several weeks ago, our scripture passage for Sunday worship included the “the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant” (Matthew 18:23-35). This month I would like us to delve into it a little deeper. Most of us know the central point of the passage that we must forgive, because God has forgiven us more than we can even fathom. However, there is another aspect of the passage that bears a closer look.
What is it? The 100 denarii the 2nd servant owed the first. Now compared with 10000 talents, it is a very small amount and that is central to the main point of the passage. But we get a wrong understanding of it if we act like it’s nothing. 100 denarii was 100 days wages for a laborer. 100 days wages is nothing compared to the national debt, but to the individual it is still pretty costly.
People sometimes take this text and imagine they must say the sin of other people is nothing, but that does a disservice to the text. When we forgive a debt or a sin it is not because it is nothing, but precisely because it hurt us that forgiveness is necessary.
Quite often when someone has hurt us we think we are supposed to say, “it’s ok” and pretend we are not hurt by it, but that generally means we are just burying the pain to be brought out at a more convenient time. No, when we pretend the 100 denarii is nothing we are lying to ourselves and to the person who hurt us. Doing so robs you of peace and robs the person who hurt you of genuine reconciliation.
Without a recognition and naming of sin, of hurt, of loss, there can be no reconciliation. So, the next time we are hurt by another person here’s what we are going to do, we will say to our brother or sister in Christ: “When you did (or said) this it really hurt me, I forgive you.” By pretending a sin is not a sin we are not being “nice” we are robbing ourselves and others of the true power of Grace.
Pastor Nick

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