Week 39

Week 39 The Lord’s Prayer Study

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.   Matthew 6:12, 14-15

Verse of the week:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, CLOTHE yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. BEAR with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. FORGIVE as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues PUT ON LOVE, which binds them all together in perfect unity.   Colossians 3:12-14

Directly after Jesus shares this example of prayer in Matthew He immediately explains that we must forgive in order to be forgiven. With all the nuggets He packed into that prayer, this must be the most important element. Maybe He knew it was the hardest to do, so He needed to restate it.

I am about to share an example of something the body needs to work on, but this subject applies to marriage, work, school, etc. I’m not trying to pick a fight, just share what Jesus is teaching ME. The first picture I saw while meditating on the word ‘clothe’ was a black Tshirt with the words BLACK LIVES MATTER.

There is a lot of stuff going on in my state, not least is the shooting of a black man by an officer. Protests have erupted in Charlotte, and, unfortunately, rioting and looting as well. So much anger and unforgiveness on every side of this situation.

Does the destruction mean that black lives don’t matter? I hope not.

Black lives DO matter. I know everyone says, “All lives matter,” and yes that’s true, but right now my brothers and sisters of color are hurting. I could go on and on about just the injustice I have seen for them, but this isn’t about that. I weep with those who weep.

Can I as one of God’s chosen people, put aside the rhetoric for a moment to bear their burdens with them, love into unity, to forgive and ask forgiveness for perceived (and actual) wrongs? Can I clothe myself in compassion for their hardships, humble my privileged self enough to speak gently (or not at all) and patiently listen to their grievances in order to find real long lasting solutions?

If I can’t say “black lives matter” without a “but” I have to wonder why. If I want to pray for peace in my country, I must forgive and ask for forgiveness. 

Dearest Father,
You are the only one I look to for help, no one else has lasting solutions.

Your kingdom works through your people when they seek only your will. Your will is Love. Let the Love that never fails be the standard working mode of your children in order to heal the pain of a disenfranchised people.

Today Lord send us a powerful Word from the throne…throw water on the fires of injustice and the angry retaliation that ensues.

I speak now to my friends of color, forgive me for my pride, judgment, inaction, powerless rhetoric, record keeping and lack of understanding and “buts.” Your life matters to me.

Father, keep me out of the temptation to argue and hurt others, deliver me from the spirits of hate, pride, selfishness, gossip and jealousy. Deliver this diverse nation into the arms of real Love. Your kingdom is powered by it. May your name be glorified forever and so let it be as You have spoken.
Amen

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