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‘Forgiveness….a lovely idea, but…..’

Everyone-says-forgiveness-is-a-lovely-idea-until-they-have-something-to-forgive‘Forgiveness….a lovely idea, but…..’

 Welcome to church this morning! Each year, a special Sunday is set aside to focus on what church means and how we might better tell others about the best-kept secret in town: the good news of Jesus.

Come to Church Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to invite new people to church, and those who may have attended in the past and have stopped for some reason.

Our worship service today isn’t too different from our usual Sunday service, and we hope you’ll find us a welcoming church where you can feel at ease just being you.

Jesus didn’t come to set up a church as we think of it; rather he came to establish what he called the Kingdom of God: an invisible kingdom made up of people from all backgrounds who would love God above everything else, and treat others with love and respect.

That sounds simple enough, but history shows that humans tend to want things all our own way.

Our Bible readings today speak of how important it is – how liberating it is – to forgive someone. And be forgiven. Jesus came to teach us the real meaning of forgiveness. And paid the price for all people for all time – no debts outstanding. How incredible! We forgive because He first forgave us.

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Matthew 18:21-35  The Message (MSG)

A Story About Forgiveness

21 At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”

22 Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.

23-25 “The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.

26-27 “The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.

28 “The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’

29-31 “The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.

32-35 “The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”

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