15th Sunday after Pentecost: 17 Sep – Matthew 18:21-35 ~ forgive one another

15th Sunday after Pentecost

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Prayer

Undaunted you seek the lost, O God, exultant you bring home the found. Touch our hearts with grateful wonder at the tenderness of your forbearing love. Grant us delight in the mercy that has found us and bring all to rejoice at the feast of forgiveness. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.

“Psalm 103 Reading” – Hillsong


Reading: Matthew 18:21-35 (NLT)

Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

“Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.

“But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.

“His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.

“When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

Intercessory Prayer

Heavenly Father: You are compassionate, full of loving-kindness; hear us as we approach Your throne of grace in prayer –

+ For forgiveness among believers, that we may treat each other as You treat us…. Lord, hear us.
+ For an end to vengeance and hatred, that all people may learn to live together in peace…. Lord, hear us.
+ For men, women and children who have been dispossessed by war and violence, that they may find rest…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who suffer because of natural disasters, that they receive help and hope…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who respond to the needy, that they may be filled with compassion and guided by Your Spirit…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who mourn the loss of loved ones, that they may be comforted…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those whose have died in Christ, that they may rest in His eternal redemption…. Lord, hear us.

God of mercy and compassion: You heal every one of our ills: help us, we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

“Forgiven” – Crowder


Concluding Prayer – Psalm 106:4-5 (NLT)

Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people; come near and rescue me. Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones. Let me rejoice in the joy of your people; let me praise you with those who are your heritage.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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