From the Pastor’s Pen:
“Blessed...” (Matthew 6:9-12b)
“Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
The federal deficit is of such an amount that I cannot in good conscience play such a figure before my kind reader. Yet this debt is vastly smaller in sum than the debt we owe to God. Already, we owed God perfect obedience as our Creator; now, transgressing an infinite God has incurred an infinite debt. We tend to overlook such debt as “part of life;” however, debt should never simply be “part of life.” Guilt is the heaviest burden one can bear, yet it cannot be seen nor shared. Guilt weighs down every transaction in life, clogging the very avenues of commerce in our relationships between God and man. To free us of this great debt, God pawned the prized pearl of heaven to purchase our freedom. Only He of infinite worth could satisfy the demands of perfect justice; only He of very man could perform our obedience. Therein lies the necessity of Jesus Christ.
Recall that forgiveness is the remission of a debt. The debt does not disappear. Someone must swallow the debt that the debtor may go free. As the wages of sin is death, Christ swallowed up death in His boundless life that we may be debt-free. If we have been forgiven such a great amount, can we justifiably bury someone else in guilt and grudges? If we cannot forgive one another, we must either believe we are of greater value than God or that God’s Son was not of enough value to pay our debts. Which one is it? Much of the anger in this world, much of the anger surrounding our dear Raymond would be effaced if we began to dwell on the crucified Christ more than our continuous conflicts.
Reader, let me speak to you personally. Have you been hurt? As a pastor, I have been struck many a grievous blow. Does it hurt? You betcha. But these wounds are far less grievous than the sin of which wounded my Jesus. It was my sin that held Him there; I was the heavy cross He had to bear. Because of Him, I will bear my own cross by refusing to hold others under a lesser debt. No one said forgiveness was easy, did they? When the splinters of the cross weigh so heavy, remember the entirety of the cross Christ bore. We will have to lay their hand over their mouth and swallow a large debt, but so be it. The time has come for our debts to stop accruing interest; the time has come to forgive. So, as a pastor, I encourage you with many tears - be reconciled.