September 17, 2023

A43: The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A (2023)

Phillip Martin

“When I step back and look at the whole picture, transgressions and confessions are really the crux of it. At our best, most of what’s going on is forgiveness and compassion. Isn’t that the case with every family…every identifiable group of people?” says Phillip Martin, Pastor of Lutheran Epiphany Church in Richmond, Virginia. In Genesis 50:15-21, we learn that “a family can only function if no one is keeping constant track of wrongs. Forgiveness has to wipe the slate clean on a regular basis.” In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus reiterates this point. He tells the disciples that they must forgive not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Jesus does not mean to “tally how many times you forgive someone for sinning and stop at seventy-seven.” God shows us grace, so our “default stance towards other people is based on God’s grace towards us.”

Manuscript available: click HERE