He said to them, "When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
~ Luke 11:2 - 4
"Dear forgiven debtors..."
The beginning words of my sermon this morning has drawn me into the garden. It rained last night. Not much, but enough for droplets to remain present this morning on leaves that are waiting for the dawn.
I am reminded that forgiveness, in any amount, is still forgiveness, when it is allowed to be received.
Like the droplets of water, forgiveness is waiting for, "what next?"
Will it simply remain as droplets, or will it be received? Or perhaps it will run off onto the ground and be used in another way?
I struggle with forgiveness at times. Especially when others point out to me, "Why do you always allow 'that person' to continually do 'that' to you?"
Sometimes it's because the person reminds me of someone else, and allow the past experience to frame my perception of the person without allowing the person to be who they really are in my brain.
Maybe the hurt has been too great, and so I avoid the person.
I am drawn into the words, "Forgive us our trespasses and those who have trespassed against us."
I remember years ago, putting up "No Trespassing" signs along our fence line. We would have to secure our property. Not that we didn't welcome people to hunt on our property, we simply wanted to know who the person was and when they would be present as we had cattle that freely roamed the hillsides. Sometimes it would even be one of us kids out, trying to round them up.
We didn't allow trespassing because of the harm it might cause.
We fail miserably at times, and we trespass on others in ways that we sometimes overlook the need to simply say, "I am sorry."
Recognizing when we have done this, and then asking for forgiveness, helps us to be in relationship with one another.
A simple prayer is what Jesus teaches his disciples. Like droplets of water after the rain. Simple. Nourishing. Cleansing. And ready to be received.
The kingdom of God begins by realizing the droplets of forgiveness, grace, and love that are being offered through a simple prayer.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil..."
Deliver us oh God from moments of great droughts, that leave us dry, and unable to grow as you have wanted.
Droplets of water on the garden this morning. Look how something so simple leads...
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.