16TH JUNE 2022
TRESPASSING WILL BE FORGIVEN
SIRACH 48:1-14 PSALM 97:1-7 MATTHEW 6:7-15
The Lord's prayer has a central place in Christian worship meaning all the words in it are also central to our faith and when Jesus teaches it and mentions this part: forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, it means that forgiving of trespasses is also central to our faith.
How central is forgiveness of trespasses in our relationships? If we do not forgive how will our relationships be? Let us notice that the word our which appears three times in the plural form in this prayer acknowledges both the presence of God and the connection of those praying in a community.
If we use the word our when talking about forgiveness of our trespasses it shows the communal aspect of sin that when it happens you do not do it to yourself but to others.
Since we are talking about forgiveness of trespasses, trespassing generally means to enter someone's land or property without permission but in Greek it literally means a false step.
It implies a falling away after being close beside, it is a tripping up, a deviation off the course, a stumble away from the truth or a falling over of some kind.
Trespasses can be intentional or non-intentional and even in normal circumstances you can find yourself trespassing someone's land or property either intentionally or accidentally.
We all stumble in many ways. For example, a friend can trespass against another friend by breaking a trust or betraying a confidence. We can also trespass through ignorance and wrong assumptions and all these as we said earlier affect our inter human relations.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forget those who trespass against us recognizes that the world is the scene of contending forces that hold people captive in body and mind, forces that are false. They hold people captive because why should you have that bitter feeling of not wanting to forgive? We know that the refusal to forgive stagnates people and the society in which they live.
To pray that God enables us to forgive those who trespass against us is to ask that God's power to forgive and to create anew will prevail over forces that hold people captive based on what they have done and what we think they will do and using that as a reference point in our relationships both present and future yet the future is not yet existing or happening.
We have the power to forgive and this power pushes us to have God's power of forgiveness upon us creating us anew. The prodigal son must have felt anew when his father welcomed (forgave his trespass) him back home.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us is not an individualistic prayer but a communal one especially at a time when our society sometimes seems to be embracing revenge and violence and terming as weaklings those who forgive.
How does it feel to forgive and to be forgiven?