This week’s message just might be the core of Jesus entire life and teaching. It might be the central purpose of Jesus coming. It might be the central plan of God since the beginning of time. OK, enough with the ‘might be’s’.
I will propose that the teaching for Sunday IS the core teaching of Jesus, the central purpose of Jesus coming, and the plan of God since the beginning of time: Forgiveness.
The text for this Sunday is literally at the center of the prayer Jesus taught us: Forgiveness! “Forgive us our debts (sins) as we forgive our debtors (those who sin against us.”) It is also the center of this section of teaching on authentic worship of God and hypocrisy (giving – 6:1-4, prayer – 6:5-15, and fasting – 6:16-18). It is also at the center of the Sermon on the Mount (between chapters 5-7, the middle of chapter 6!). The title of the message: The Gift of Forgiveness and the Hypocrisy of Unforgiveness, Matthew 6:12, 14-15.
Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Exactly! Forgiveness is the center of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the most powerful and liberating force in the universe and the most powerful and liberating experience a human being can experience.
We will celebrate the love and forgiveness of God this Sunday. We will taste and see the love and forgiveness of God through the communion celebration. We will witness the forgiveness of God together as we who are many, have become one in Christ Jesus – a community covered with the love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God.
See you Sunday!!