Seventy-Seven Times

Dear Sinners and Saints,

Peter asks Jesus , "How many times should I forgive somebody? Is seven times enough?”
Jesus responds, "Seven times Seventy…” (Matthew 18:21,22)

Why is forgiveness such a priority to our Lord?

“To recognize one’s own sin implies also the will to restore broken friendship and leads to asking for forgiveness and reconciliation. The capacity for forgiveness itself creates community.” ElsaTamez, writing of liberation theologian Gustavo Guitierez, “In the Amnesty of Grace.”

Every relational entrance into community has been created and sustained by the grace of God. We all offend people. Left to our own merits every relationship would falter at the altar of human wounding. Sometimes we may try to hurt somebody, but most of the time just living life and being around people will cause some sort of offense. The mercy of Jesus preserves every relationship we have.

Most critical of all is the love and mercy Jesus extends to each of us personally. God removes the sin from our lives every day and, ”… remembers our sin no more ….”, (Jeremiah 31:31-34). As Rob Bell is fond of saying “LOVE WINS,” we are in relationship with God,  so that we might enter into community with all the saints (saint being, according to Martin Luther, “forgiven sinners”) in Jesus' name.

Read Matthew 18:21-35 for further reflection.

Still in one peace,
Pastor David J. Jensen

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