Last weekend I got to preach on holding grudges at our Frederick Pike campus. I was glad my sermon was done earlier in the week since I got sick as the week wore on.
Our teens opened the teaching time with a modern-day drama of the Unforgiving Servant in Matthew 18. I wish I could have just read the scripture and sat down. Jesus was so clear on how we should forgive others.
We invited people to write down a person who they want to forgive or at least start that journey. They crumpled it up and held onto it as we remembered how much energy we've wasted on this situation. Then I invited them to lay it at the foot of the cross as they came up for communion.
At the 9:30 service, I saw an older woman walk down front, wind up her arm and throw her crumpled paper at the cross. I could feel her pain in that action.
Many of us are clinging to pain that's lasted a life time. We keep score of how others have hurt us. We hold onto the score card because it seems fair.
Matthew 18:21-35 is annoyingly simple. God has forgiven us each an immense debt. We are to turn around and forgive others. If not, we'll be tortured through keeping score.
Hold out your hands in front of you. Clench your fists. Feel the time, energy, tears and anger you've wasted on this junk.
By the power