All are welcome to join us for Sunday service at 10 am. Sunday school for children 3-11 is offered during the church service. Join us for coffee and conversation after
All are welcome to join us for Sunday service at 10 am. Sunday school for children 3-11 is offered during the church service. Join us for coffee and conversation after Church.
Here are some thoughts on the upcoming sermon from our minister, Rev. Marlene Salmonson:
“Lord, how often should I forgive my brother or sister if they sin against me? As many as seven times? “Matthew 18:21
Considering the reality of wars, divisions, and hostilities in the world, the call of Jesus to forgive may appear naïve or impossible. Peter seems to suggest as much when he asks the question, which may echo a rabbinic discussion which argued that a sibling could be forgiven a repeated sin three times, but for a fourth offence there was no forgiveness. Yikes! I think that I would be in serious trouble here!
Peter may have thought himself exceedingly generous in volunteering a seven-fold forgiveness. But Jesus suggests that anyone who keeps count does not really understand forgiveness. Our translation of Jesus’ answer of “seventy-seven times,” may be on the low side as the Greek text can actually be understood to mean seventy times seven or 490 times!
Jesus introduces the reader to a person who owed a debt beyond all imaging in its’ day: ten thousand talents. If we consider that the annual income for all of King Herod the Great’s territories is said to have been 900 talents per year, then the amount that the first person owed was fantastic. Without any means to pay, he sought mercy.
Image by Christina Rolo
Yet, the first debtor did not respond to his fellow slave with the compassion that he himself had received. This response not only outrages the other servants in this parable, but present-day readers as well. One is sympathetic, when the other servants’ report their discontent to the king, agreeing with his final rebuke: “Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?” This is a question for us all to ponder.
(Sunday) 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Sherwood Park United Church
20 Fir Street Sherwood Park, Alberta T8A 1Z6