God Pause for Thursday, 9/11/2014

Luther Seminary God Pause

Thursday, 9/11/2014 Reading: Matthew 18:21-35

Where were you on September 11, 2001? Chances are you can vividly remember where you were and what you were doing. It was a day filled with moments and images that would not be soon forgotten. I recall visiting with a friend that evening. When her middle school son returned home from school that fall afternoon, he immediately asked his mom to take him to the prayer garden at church. Like so many of us, in the wake of such unimaginable violence he could turn only to God.

I find it striking every time this anniversary and this Bible reading intersect. We turn to God in prayer and pain, and discover that God is reminding us to show mercy to one another just as God has shown mercy to us. What does forgiveness look like on a day like today? Perhaps it looks like people from different religious backgrounds seeking to understand one another. Or maybe it looks like parents teaching their children to practice love instead of hate. As you turn to God today, may you be reminded of the unlimited mercy God shows to you and imagine ways that you might share that with the world.

God, today is a day filled with hard memories. Help me to show love when it would be easier to practice hatred. Open my heart to someone in need of your peace. Amen.>

Lisa Kipp Pastor, Zumbro Lutheran Church, Rochester, Minn. Master of Divinity, 2013

Matthew 18:21-35 (NRSV)

21 Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?" 22 Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. 23 "For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25 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. 26 So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, "Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' 27 And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28 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.' 29 Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, "Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' 30 But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31 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. 32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, "You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?' 34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35 So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart."

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