Think of how much more work it takes to reconcile with a family member than with an acquaintance. History can intrude into even the sincerest attempts to mend a broken relationship. That is one reason why we are tempted to think that we are better than the person we have wronged. This is especially likely when our apology is not accepted. We forgive ourselves for our sins because we have made the first—and often the easiest—step in reconciliation, and we hold the person we have wronged in contempt for stubbornly refusing our offer.

But the truth is that no one, not even a family member, owes you a relationship. No one has to forgive you; no one has to move past whatever wrong you have committed. While forgiveness may be ideal, it is simply not how the world works. The offer of reconciliation must come freely and without an insistence on a continued relationship. We must hold ourselves accountable and also give grace to those who simply cannot remain in the relationship.

“Thy will be done” cuts so much deeper than the cursory thought we give it when we mumble the Lord’s Prayer. In the end we are fighting not only against our personal desires for justice, fairness, and acceptance but also against the powers and principalities that demand retribution rather than healing. Our transactional culture rejects evolution and reconciliation, the very conditions of the beloved community.

If we believe the words of Jesus and the invitation to full redemption without qualification, what does the kin-dom of God look like alongside human kingdoms?

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer Luke 11:1-13

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Leccionario Semanal
July 18–24, 2022
Resumen de la Escritura

Hosea can be a difficult book with troublesome metaphors. This prophet is called to live with an unfaithful wife as an image of how Israel is unfaithful to God. Yet even in this initial statement of judgment, God includes a promise of restoration. Psalm 85 appeals to God’s steadfast love. God has become angry with the people for their unfaithfulness, and the people appeal for God’s mercy, which they are confident they will receive. The Colossians reading warns against replacing or even supplementing the simple truth of the gospel with human wisdom, religious rules, or anything else. We have fellowship with Christ through our faith. Jesus teaches us to ask God for what we need and for what we want just as we would ask a human parent.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Hosea 1:2-10. How is God reminding you of your covenant relationship?
Read Psalm 85. When have you needed to pray for restoration in your life, in your relationships with the wider community, or in your relationship with God?
Read Colossians 2:6-19. Paul teaches us the value of community. How can you help make the community more just?
Read Luke 11:1-13. How has praying regularly changed you? If you do not pray regularly, start a practice now. Look for the ways it changes you.

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