“Forgive Us Our Debts”
Challenge us, O God, with the parables that Jesus told (1) about the Pharisee and the tax collector and (2) about the servant who was forgiven an impossible to pay back debt by his master but who would not forgive a small debt owed to him by a peer.
Challenge us through those parables and through this line of the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray with the challenging truth that there is a vital connection between the forgiveness that we receive from you and the forgiveness that we offer to others as well as between the forgiveness that we do not offer to others and the forgiveness that we do not receive from you.
Perhaps it all comes down, like so many truths do, to grace; in this case, perhaps the grace we are able to give is a direct reflection on the grace that we are able to receive—and vice-versa.
Give us, O God, the humility of the tax collector, who would not lift his eyes to heaven but who would only beat his breast and pray, “God, be merciful to me a sinner,” that we might truly know and receive your grace.
Give us, O God, an acceptance, appreciation, apprehension, and assimilation of your great grace that grants us such great forgiveness that we can’t help but be the opposite of the servant who, despite the great forgiveness he had experienced from his master, still did not have enough grace to share.
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)