I have tried to be diligent not only in posting each week but to also post things in correlation with Pastor Bill’s sermons. Sometimes that task is much easier to attain than other times. Nonetheless, as the great Dear Abby stated herself, “Better late than never.” Or was that Abby’s sister? So here I am with the video from Easter Sunday’s service. And way below that I’m going to add some thoughts I have about forgiving debts, but most important and most tardy first. Enjoy Pastor Bill as I have for months now…
I find that I have debts I owe. Debts to God. Debts to humanity. Debts to Citibank, Well’s Fargo, and so many others. My debts seem endless and often times overwhelming. My debts do not exhaust me though. What exhausts me is the work it takes to forgive others of their debts to me. How do I accomplish this? I know I must because that is what God wants, and I so want to be a good shepherd. I want to honor him and all he has given to us, in his sacrifices and his love. I find myself forgiving debts time and time again, and then the creepy crawler gets into my skin, works its evil way into my head and eventually my heart and the question blurts out like a volcanic eruption, “When is it my turn to be forgiven?” And everything I did was undone. I sit feeling an empty shell of exhausted human flesh mere bones and ligaments, muscles and blood.
I sat in the pew listening to Pastor Bill two weeks ago talk about God’s sacrifice. He shared such great analogies on Good Friday, and on Sunday spoke of hope and inspiration. He reminded us all of the work God has done through his only son, Jesus. He shared with us those that deceived Jesus and how it was okay. How Jesus still called those people who turned their backs on him, the person who lead Jesus to his crucifixion, friend. How debts were erased by love, understanding, and desire for peace over conflict.
I am not so holy a person, nor so noble. I offer up forgiveness but I don’t forget the debt. I offer up the desire for peace but require it be returned. I am no Mother Theresa who stands in front of the stones never flinching but accepting the brutality of mankind. I want to be like her, like that. I really have this desire. It just seems that human nature gets in the way. Or maybe it is not human nature at all. Maybe it is the lacking of values.
An acquaintance said to me earlier this week, “We don’t need to be teaching our kids Character Counts in school. We need to be teaching it to the parents.” Maybe it is not just me but the whole of society that has become so embittered that we’ve lost the idea of how to allow mistakes to happen and forgive them. Maybe we’ve become to closed off from others we have forgotten how to allow them to make a mistake and to talk it through. Maybe we’ve decided that working on relationships is just to much work so shed them instead of fix them. Maybe we have found too much pleasure in the brutal gossiping about others because it makes us feel more normal and our lives more desirable.
One rumor circulating around the airwaves is that the world is coming to an end and the apocalypse will happen on December 21, 2012. I’m not saying that this rumor is something we should believe, but what if it were true? What if we went to the doctor tomorrow and he told you that you have stage 4 cancer and only gives you 6 months to live? What would you do differently? Would you forget all those debts owed to you? Would you spend more time with your family? Friends? Kids? Would you travel the world? What decisions would you make that are different? Maybe instead of waiting for that day we should all try to remember how to forgive our debts to each other as well as forgive ourselves for our debts. After all, we are mere mortals, a shadow of what God created so many thousands of years ago. And if you live your life to the best, if you can look in the mirror and say with earnestness that you are sorry for your trespasses, than you too shall be forgiven when it really counts.
Does that mean that your change will change how life happens with those around you, your stone throwers, those you upset, trespass upon, or opt to cause strife in your life? No. You will face your attackers, you will fall to the comments and harshness of other’s foul tongues, but in your heart hold the peace of God’s tidings with you. Some days it might be all that gets you out of bed and keeps you sober.
We cannot change others, but we can change how we see them. The Lord’s Prayer was written to help us all to remember…