for Sunday, September 14, 2014
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
14th Sunday after Pentecost
lectionary focus: Matthew 18:21-35
Some things in life are called Once in a Lifetime. They are so special we get to do them only one time: a school play, Prom, an amazing last second football win, a trip to Paris.
But have your ever noticed how chores are never done? We empty the dishwasher one day, and we have to empty it again the next. We make up our beds, then sleep in them and have to make them again. Every week we have to take out the trash. Every month we have to pay the bills. Chores are chores because we have to do them over and over and over again. When I was a kid, one of the most annoying things about chores was being “reminded” to do them. My mom would say, “Don’t forget to put your dirty clothes in the laundry.” And my sister would say, “It’s your turn to clear the table.” And in my family, we would respond to these “reminders” by placing our finger on our nose. Can you put your finger on your nose? Doing this (finger on the nose) was our silent way of saying “I know” because “know” like we know something (point to your brain) and “nose” like on our face (touch your nose) sound a lot alike. “Yeah, yeah, I nose that. You don’t need to remind me.”
Sometimes I feel like touching my nose when I read our Bible Stories. Yeah, yeah, I nose this story already. But we tell these stories over and over because they are special and important, too special and important to forget, too special and important to tell only one time.
And to add to our over and over of over and over, today’s Bible Story tells us that we must forgive over and over. We all nose we are to share and be nice and say sorry and it’s okay, but today the disciples ask Jesus just how many times do we have to forgive someone. They want to know if there is a limit. If we are ever done forgiving.
And Jesus says no.
Forgiving is something that we do over and over, but forgiveness is not a chore. We forgive again and again because each time it is an opportunity to experience something special. Forgiving others makes us feel better. Forgiving others brings us closer to each other. Forgiving others brings us closer to God. Forgiveness is such a big mystery that there is no limit. Forgiveness is an Over and Over Lifetime Event.
We certainly nose that God forgives each of us over and over, and today we are reminded again in a story we already nose to let others nose that we forgive them.
This time as we pray, when we say the word know, be sure to touch your own nose. Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)
We are thankful
that we nose
You love us.
We are thankful
that we nose
You forgive us.
to let others nose
that we love them
and that we forgive them.
We are not Christians alone.