The Singular Focus 

Exodus 20:1-20                                                                                                                 10.8.17

If you start talking about the big 10 at our house, you are usually talking about college sports.  The Big Ten conference includes some powerhouse university teams (actually there are 14 of them, not 10, which always confuses me!), one of which is now University of Maryland.  They have fierce competition with one another and are known to provide good entertainment for sports enthusiasts on fall Saturdays.

But that is not the big ten we are focused on for today.  Today the big ten are the ten moral laws given to Moses on the top of the mountain.  They are the ways of operating which God gave as a gift to the people of Israel, a people wandering around in the wilderness, trying to figure out who they were.  Think for a minute about their context, Continue reading

The Forgiveness Limit

Matthew 18:21-35    No one ever said forgiveness was easy. Forgiveness does not just happen. It has to be intentional, specific to a person or a group regarding a harmful action or inaction. It is a response to being a recipient of God’s forgiveness that we naturally move toward becoming forgivers. But we are bean counters, we like to keep score, to keep track, to keep things even or fair. Peter represents us all when he asks Jesus to put some limits on forgiveness. He figures that since the rabbis teach that forgiving someone 3 times is satisfying the legal limit, that if he suggests forgiving someone 7 times he would be more than generous, even more than double what is required. He wants Jesus to quantify forgiveness, to tell him how much he expects. That is because we human beings have a natural tendency to forgive with conditions and calculators. Continue reading