The 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 13 Sep 2020: Sirach* 27:30-28:7, Psalm 103:1-14, Matt 18:21-35 ~ Mercy received / Mercy given!

The 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 13 Sep 2020

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

Opening:

O God most high, you are slow to anger and rich in compassion. Keep alive in us the memory of your mercy, that our angers may be calmed and our resentments dispelled. May we discover the forgiveness promised to those who forgive and become a people rich in mercy. 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. Amen.

May I never forget the good things The Lord does for me.
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
(Psalm 103: 2-4)

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“God of Grace and God of Glory” – First Plymouth Church, Lincoln Nebraska

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Collect for Purity

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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A Reading from the Apocrypha: Sirach 27:30- 28:7 (Anglicised (NRSVA)

Anger and Vengeance

27:30 Anger and wrath, these also are abominations,
yet a sinner holds on to them.

28:1 The vengeful will face the Lord’s vengeance,
for he keeps a strict account of their sins.

2 Forgive your neighbor the wrong he has done,
and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray.

3 Does anyone harbor anger against another,
and expect healing from the Lord?

4 If someone has no mercy towards another like himself,
can he then seek pardon for his own sins?

5 If a mere mortal harbors wrath,
who will make an atoning sacrifice for his sins?

6 Remember the end of your life, and set enmity aside;
remember corruption and death, and be true to the commandments.

7 Remember the commandments, and do not be angry with your neighbor;
remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook faults.

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“Psalm 103” (Bless The Lord) – Slavic Center Tacoma

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A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 18:21-35 (NLT)

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.”

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Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive –  Koine

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Prayer to Forgive OthersKathryn Shirey

O Heavenly Father, as you have forgiven me, help me to forgive those who have sinned against me. For we are all sinners and we all fall short of your glory.

Help me to let go of the anger, resentment, bitterness, and hurt to forgive those who have hurt me. I need your help, O Lord, for the hurts are great and it’s hard to forgive.

Help me to fill my heart with love, because you first loved us. Lead me to live a life of love and forgiveness, learning to see others through your eyes, Lord. I leave my hurting heart at your feet, Lord, and ask for your help to heal my heart and lead me to forgiveness.

O Lord, help me to forgive those who have sinned against me, or against those I hold most dear; I ask through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

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His Mercy Is More – The Acappella Company

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Closing – Romans 14:7-8 (NLT)

We don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves.
If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord.
So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 

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

Monday Morning, 07 Oct 2019 – Matthew 18:21-35 ~ on heartfelt forgiveness

Monday Morning

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

Opening –  A Collect for the Renewal of Life (Monday)

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Morning 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.”
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Morning Reflection:

on heartfelt forgiveness
“Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?”
– Matthew 18:33 –

As children of God, sometimes we forget that we are also His servants. The story Jesus told about the unforgiving servant clarifies our position as debtors in the household of God. So great was our debt that God sent His one and only Son to redeem us. Sins, trespasses and debts owed to us are minuscule in comparison.

Heartfelt forgiveness of those who have sinned against us is an extension of the mercy, and grace we have received from God. It’s the act of a servant, an act of of humility. It requires a moment of clarity regarding the ways we have broken God’s heart, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude for His mercy and grace.

Questions for consideration:

  • Are you having trouble forgiving someone who has hurt you? Please explain.
  • Do you rehearse the event, or do you release it to God? Please explain.
  • Do you find yourself becoming resentful or bitter? Please explain.
  • Does negativity affect other areas of your life? Please explain.
  • Does discouragement or discontent rob you of joy and peace? Please explain.
  • Is there another believer that you can talk with who will pray with you and help you extend to another, the grace God has extended to you. Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: For Forgiveness –

Heavenly Father: I have sinned against you, through my own fault, in thought, and word, and deed, and in what I have left undone. For the sake of your Son my Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me all my offenses;
and grant that I may serve you in newness of life, to the glory of your Name.

Father, bless me with the wonderful power of forgiveness, give me the grace to unconditionally forgive those who have done me wrong. Give me the strength to let go of ill-will, the strength to forgive myself of my own failings and sins, knowing that you have already forgiven me. Free me of all anger, bitterness, hate, and unforgiveness. In the Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
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Forgiveness” – Matthew West

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

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

Morning Reading: Fri, 16 Feb – Matthew 17-19 ~ those who seem least important now will be the greatest then

Morning Reading

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

Opening – (Northumbria Community)

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Reading: Matthew 17-19 (NLT)

The Transfiguration

Matthew 17 (NLT)

Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus.

Peter exclaimed, “Lord, it’s wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I’ll make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.” The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground.

Then Jesus came over and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus.

As they went back down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Then his disciples asked him, “Why do the teachers of religious law insist that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?”

Jesus replied, “Elijah is indeed coming first to get everything ready. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, but he wasn’t recognized, and they chose to abuse him. And in the same way they will also make the Son of Man suffer.” Then the disciples realized he was talking about John the Baptist.

Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy

At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”

Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.

Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?”

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

Jesus Again Predicts His Death

After they gathered again in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” And the disciples were filled with grief.

Payment of the Temple Tax

On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked him, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the Temple tax?”

“Yes, he does,” Peter replied. Then he went into the house.

But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?”

“They tax the people they have conquered,” Peter replied.

“Well, then,” Jesus said, “the citizens are free! However, we don’t want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.”

The Greatest in the Kingdom

Matthew 18 (NLT)

About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

“And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.

“What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting. So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

“Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.

Parable of the Lost Sheep

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.

Correcting Another Believer

“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.

“I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.

“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”

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.”

Discussion about Divorce and Marriage

Matthew 19 (NLT)

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went down to the region of Judea east of the Jordan River. Large crowds followed him there, and he healed their sick.

Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

“Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’” And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”

“Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” they asked.

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful.”

Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”

“Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”

Jesus Blesses the Children

One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.

The Rich Man

Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”

“Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”

“Which ones?” the man asked.

And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”

Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?”

Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.
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“I’m The Least In The Kingdom” – Believers Sanctuary

I’m the least in the kingdom of the Lord | And why He’d love me, I cannot tell | Why He’s look down in the miry pit of sin | Save my soul and tell me all is well.

I do not know the secrets of the Lord | I only know what He tells me in His word. | I feel unworthy and small | For my God owns it all | I’m the least in the kingdom of the Lord.

As a boy, walking down a dusty road | No one to love me, no place to go | Then all at once I’m adopted by a King | That is why, in my heart, I can sing
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Blessing – (Northumbrian Community)

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
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+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!