Forgiven

Forgiveness is hard for us to talk about because we don't do it well. We make mistakes on forgiveness because we believe that forgiveness is a blanket we hand out freely. As far as I know only God is capable of that kind of forgiveness. Today's parable should make us say "what is Jesus talking about?" After all Peter is told to forgive someone 70x7, yet in the parable the servant is not forgiven that much, the servant reaps what he sows. He doesn't forgive his fellow servant a debt, as he was forgiven by the master, so he too is thrown in jail. So it would  be helpful for us to look at the other scriptures in order to understand forgiveness.

I had a hard time relating forgiveness to the Egyptians all being drowned in the sea. Where is God's forgiveness in this? This is a story about God's saving power to the Hebrew people who were slaves to the Egyptians. This story is a story about balancing power. Think of it, we have the Egyptian army coming after the Hebrew slaves. They have just left, in the middle of the night, with just what they can carry, think of any group of refugees we have seen on the road, carts piled high, with people, clothes, maybe live animals running away from the threat. This story balances the might of an army against a defenseless people by balancing the power in the elements of nature. By using the force of wind and wave all God's hand. There is not forgiveness because the Egyptians aren't willing to work from that place, they want control of the Hebrew people still and that is not a step in forgiveness.

See we are taught that forgiveness should be as easy and free as the 70 x 7 no matter what is done to us and that is not right. Forgiveness is a process we go through. It sometimes takes us time to get there, it sometimes means that trust has to be reestablished, and it sometimes means we have to just let go and realize true justice does not exist in this world. In the movie Hook Robin Williams plays the father Peter Banning or Peter Pan has to get his kids back from Captain Hook. In one of the scenes Jack, his son, is playing baseball with Captain Hook. As he hits the ball he names every injustice his father has done to him, for forgetting his games, for not being there, for thinking work is more important than his son. Peter hears this litany and leaves the game in silence, hidden by a disguise. All through this Peter has been unable to find his happy thought and fly. Later in the last battle with Hook for his children Peter flies to Jack and says he found his happy thought that it was him, when he became a dad for the first time. Peter is so transformed by this thought that when they go back things are different, but it will take some time to get used to as the story shows. Peter climbs up to the nursery and bangs on the window, Jack lets him in Peter says, "What did I tell you about this window?" you can see Jack's face sink and then Peter bursts out with "always leave it open." and Jack knows his father is forever changed.

This is why the parable this morning displays this. There has to be a deep change of heart in order for some wrongs to be forgiven especially when there is an imbalance of power. True forgiveness is something we struggle with and in the struggle we find God's grace and love. If you find you are struggling with forgiveness please see this link http://forgivenesschallenge.com/ it can be very helpful to find a process to help with this struggle.