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05 October – You must Forgive

Luke 17:1  Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! 2  It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3  Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. 4  And if the same person sins against you seven times a day, and turns back to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive.” 5  The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6  The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

Matthew 18 & Luke 17 both carry this message: “you must forgive”  Matthew asks for this to be “seventy times seven times”, while Luke only refers to “seven times”.  Either way the intention seems to be that we are to be a forgiving people. This is a core value of being a follower of Jesus. While the world we live in thrives on hatred, anger and revenge, Jesus asks us to trust him (even if this is only a very small bit of trust) that there is a better alternative: be   forgiving.

“Forgiving love is a possibility only for those who know that they are not good, who feel themselves in need of divine mercy, who live in a dimension deeper and higher than that of moral idealism, feel themselves as well as their fellow men convicted of sin by a holy God and know that the differences between the good man and the bad man are insignificant in his sight.”
—Reinhold Niebuhr,  An Interpretation of Christian Ethics

Ordinary 23 / Pentecost +16

45 Forgiveness

The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 276.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day
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“To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” Finley Peter Dunne (1867–1936)