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.
"For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, 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. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But 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.' Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?' And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart."
Here's the thing: 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. And I'd love your help.
What comes to your mind, hearing this gospel in tandem with remembering 9/11?
Ground rules: State your own opinions and respect those of others. Personal reactions are just that: personal. If you have a completely different reaction it's because you are a completely different person with a different experience and perspective. How people should feel or what people should think is irrelevant. I am grateful for your honest thoughts; I hope that you will be kind to one another.