for Sunday, June 16, 2013
4th Sunday after Pentecost
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
lectionary focus: Galatians 2:15-21; Luke 7:36-8:3
When I was your age, my dad got a new fancy fishing rod. He was real excited and promised to help me use it the first time he went out with it. Well…I was excited, too, and couldn’t wait, and I thought I could just give it a little try all by myself. I wonder if you can guess what happened? Yep, I broke it. I certainly did not mean to break it, but I did. And knowing that I should not have been messing with it, I put it back without telling my father what had happened. Of course, when he went to pack it for our trip, he discovered it was broken. He asked me if I knew anything about it, and I said…”No, sir.” Yep, on top of breaking it, I then told a lie. You can imagine that I did not enjoy that fishing trip! My lie lay heavy on my heart. After a day of moping in the boat, I burst into tears and confessed to my father that I had broken his new fishing rod and had then told him a lie. My father took me in his arms and told me that he thought I might have had something to do with it. I told him that I was very sorry for doing these wrongs. My father thanked me for apologizing and then he forgave me. Whew. But you know what’s the best part of this story? While that was a big, scary deal to me and I still remember how difficult it was…my father doesn’t remember it! When I asked him about it for this sermon, he laughed and said, “Really? Well, that sure is forgiving and forgetting!”
In our Bible story today, Jesus goes to a dinner party. There is a woman there who was not invited. This woman has come because she wants to apologize to Jesus. This woman is sorry because she has lied to God and has not loved God with all of her heart. Her sin has weighed heavy on her heart and she is crying to confess her mistakes. The other dinner guests don’t think much of this bad woman. But Jesus sees the love and good in her and forgives her. And not just forgives her, but forgets her wrongs and sends her out into the world in peace.
And so it is with us today. We all make mistakes. But when we own our mistakes, when we admit our mistakes, when we ask God (and others) for forgiveness–the Lord easily forgives and simply forgets.
It can be hard to admit that we have done wrong. But fathers are especially good at forgiving. Whether they are our father here on earth or our Father in heaven, Fathers love us and forgive us and join us in the world in peace.
And that’s a good message for Father’s Day.
Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)
I am sorry
for the wrong things
that I have done.
for forgiving me.
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.