The Gospel text in this week’s lectionary is — also the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — is about forgiveness. Happy coincidence? Maybe so. At The Hardest Question, Nadia Bolz-Weber has some thoughts on how she’s going to preach it:
Any of the above would be great candidates for most disturbing question for this text. But this isn’t “The Most Disturbing Question” blog. It’s “The Hardest Question.” And when it comes down to it none of these is the hardest question, these are red herrings—ways to distract ourselves from what’s really hard here. And what’s really hard is forgiving people who have sinned against us. What’s really hard is to know what to do when out hearts are filled not with forgiveness and mercy but with rage.
On this, the 10th anniversary of September 11—something that for many marks us Americans as people who have been sinned against in a profound and unforgettable way—a text on forgiveness, the likes of which we have here in Matthew 18, might be the perfect opportunity to speak a little truth about what is really in our hearts.
The hardest question is this: From where will we attain this forgiveness for those who have caused us harm? I’ll tell you one thing for sure. It ain’t in my heart. No sir. It’s kinda dark in there.