Accept and Pass On God’s Forgiveness – Rev Kofi Amissah
Pre-recorded service led by Rev Kofi Amissah, Preacher Gauri Tayor-Nayar, with contributions from members of the St Andrews and Cyncoed Congregations.
Please see the link below and the attached reflection for the day:
ACCEPT AND PASS ON GOD’S FORGIVENESS
Text: “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your
brother or sister from your heart” (Matthew 18:35)
Reading: Matthew 18:21-35)
Hymn: ‘Forgive our sins, as we forgive’, you taught us, Lord, to pray – StF 423
In the passage before us Peter’s suggestion about forgiving his brother seven times was very
generous, because the Rabis had taught that you should forgive anyone who offends you,
three or four times. Seven times thus meant doing more. But Jesus had a different instruction:
seventy times seven, meaning 490 times you should forgive. I am not sure which book or
pen, or pencil will be used to record these 490 times someone offends, especially since it will
not be only one person offending and that you will also be offending whiles others are
offending. Jesus simply meant: STOP COUNTING. Love keeps no record of wrongs. The
unforgiving servant owed too much he could not pay so he was forgiven. Yet he could not
forgive a fellow servant who owed him so little.
My dear Christian friends, the reason why most people do not feel and accept God’s
forgiveness is that they themselves cannot forgive others and themselves. Though a parable, I
am sure this unforgiving servant would walk away not believing that his master had forgiven
him all that debt, because he himself, given the chance, and as he proved in the parable, will
not forgive. Joseph’s brothers did not believe Joseph had forgiven them because they knew
that if they were in Joseph’s situation, they will not forgive. But you know what!!! The
world’s most horrible prison is the prison of our own unforgiving heart. If we refuse to
forgive others, we are only imprisoning ourselves and causing our own torment. The
truth is, forgiveness must give birth to forgiveness, as we say in the Lord’s Prayer: ‘Forgive
us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Paul says: ‘Be kind and
compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you’
(Ephesians 4:32). ‘Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a
grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you’ (Colossians 3:13).
The parable is a powerful and robust reminder of where we stand when we are called upon to
forgive someone else:
1. We are not the master, deciding whether to release someone out of the goodness of
our hearts. Joseph acknowledged this when his brothers asked him to forgive them.
He asked: ‘Am I in the place of God?’
2. Instead, when we are called upon to forgive others, we should see ourselves as debtors
who owed so much that we could not repay it in many lifetimes. And if anyone owes
a debt to us, it is tiny in comparison.
3. We are not asked whether we would like to choose to be generous, but we are asked
to pass on the generosity of God
Let us therefore accept God’s forgiveness for ourselves. This will help us to live a guiltless
life, enjoying God’s forgiveness. Consequently, forgiving others and setting them free, will
come easier than it seems. God bless you.