pay it back

Friday September 19th, Matthew 18:  23 "Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.  26 "The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27 The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. The Kingdom is like, mustard weeds, unclean bread, nets full of good and bad stuff, a crook who gets away with a huge debt forgiven.  Not the usual picture of streets of gold and St. Peter as the gatekeeper.  The kingdom is like a king talking to a scumbag who stole billions of dollars from the treasury, begged for mercy and received much much more.  If you add up all you have received in your whole life and compare it to what you have given back, where do you fit in to this story?  A pastor friend of mine (not Lutheran) reminds his congregation that God has already given you the tithe and is waiting to see if you will give it back along with offerings, or if you will take the money and run.  I am not quite sure I am with him on that but I have used this offertory prayer as I hold the offering plates up high before the altar: After all we say and do, this is what we think of you.  Amen!  What is the debt you owe?  How will you begin to pay it back in this world?


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