At first glance, it looks like a great text for this Sunday:
Peter came and said to Jesus, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22)
The story that follows, however, is a complicated one involving a king and his slaves: not the easiest of subjects, especially as we start assigning the parts to various groups of people in our personal understandings of the text (Matthew 18:23-35).
I haven’t personally figured out how to use the text in reference to the remembrance for September 11th that we are doing. And I’m not the only one…
Episcopal priest “LKT” writes on her blog “The Infusion”:
The 10th anniversary of 9/11 seems like a great time to talk about forgiveness, but I don’t want this to be cheap grace or easy platitudes. This is not an easy gospel, nor was 9/11 an easy moment; I don’t think the sermon should be easy either. In fact, there are a lot of ways this gospel works against preaching about forgiveness. After all, are we talking about other members of the church? And weren’t the events of 9/11 more than owing a few hundred denarii? But there it is, and I think the gospel demands being faced head-on and in conjunction with all the remembrances and events. But this will require some care and consideration.
She’s gotten some excellent and thoughtful responses so far: a help to anyone (especially a preacher) struggling with the question of forgiveness.
Check in with LKT’s blog, or leave additional thoughts here on the Cafe!