Forgiveness and living

Matthew 18:21-25
When I was a kid, I was happily dragged around the country to different camps and church events, where my dad would speak to the grown ups and my mom would lead “creative dramatics” with the kids. Essentially, this meant acting out bible stories from a set of rhyming storybooks she brought along.  Today’s parable is one that I acted out so many times as a kid, with so many groups of strangers, that I can still remember the exact lines that once got me kicked out of the room.
My mother was reading along, doing the voices of the characters, and fifty children were sitting cross-legged and rapt. We were getting to my favorite part.I had surreptitiously positioned myself right next to her, almost facing the rest of the kids, and my heart was pounding wildly, as I worked up my courage for a surprise assist. The moment came, and she read, ”How much does he owe?” The king asked the treasurer, standing below, And lept up and I roared out the answer at the top of my lungs, “TEN TH…

So, Sing

Psalm 98
Singa new song. Try it. Something completely new. Something you’ve never sung before. You don’t know the words, you can barely hum the tune, but sing it anyway. Try it on for size…no, just jump in and belt it out.
Maybe you don’t sing with the confidence you would if it were the old song, the familiar song, the song that makes sense and feels easy.Maybe you don’t feel so comfortable with the instruments, or worry that you’ll be singing alone.
Tell you what – how about if we sing with you? And not just us, the whole earth – the chaotic seas will sing too, and they can’t sound more in tune than you do – the floods will clap their messy hands; just make a joyful noise, really, any noise will do.
But make it loud, ok? Because the hills are going to join in on this, and really, the world itself, and all those who live in it.It will be a song like no other, so get ready to sing. Are you ready?
This song, it means something. This is one reason it is a new song and not the old songs.
It is …

Sin, Salvation, and the All-Encompassing Belongingness of God

If my week had a theme, it might be noticing sin.
This week I’ve been forced to own up to the way I let a relationship go and chose avoidance and dishonesty over facing challenging conversations.And in coming to terms with it, I have had to see that, compounded by years of silence, honestly dealing with it will cause more hurt, and the only way out of it with integrity is to go ahead and tell the truth anyway. It’s uncomfortable to see sin, both past and present, in my life, and it feels awful, but also good to see it so I can deal with it.
Sin is when we fail to live consistent with who we are made and called to be – when we violate our belonging to God and one another.It can be personal and internal – letting go of anger, dealing with pride, or self-judgment, and we’re stuck to wrestle inside ourselves with our failure to live consistent with who we are made and called to be. It an be between us, words and actions that hurt or degrade people, that violate the bond we’re meant to share …