Students sitting outside Bockman
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

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"Who is this, who even forgives sins?" That is the question asked by the authorities and the people. To forgive sin is God's prerogative. Is Jesus able to do that task? Are we?

So many of the grudges and sins we refuse to forgive in ourselves and others are trivial. Yet our refusal to let go can damage our ability to understand the magnitude of God's grace for us. By refusing to trust that God has indeed been gracious to us, we are unable to be gracious to others.

Forgiveness is a choice. It is a decision we can make to let go of those things that we hold against others and, perhaps more importantly, against ourselves. Failing to forgive stifles our ability to exist, to know grace and most importantly, to understand the magnitude of God's grace.

Who is this that even forgives sin? It is the Christ, the son of God. He forgives us, so that we can forgive others and ourselves.

Forgiving God, help us to understand the power and magnitude of the forgiveness you have shown us. Enable us to forgive ourselves and others, so that we might bear witness to your forgiving grace. Amen.

Karl Gronberg
Senior Pastor, Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
Master of Divinity , 1967

Luke 7:36-8:3 (NRSV)

36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table.
37 And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment.
38 She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment.
39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him--that she is a sinner."
40 Jesus spoke up and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." "Teacher," he replied, "speak."
41 "A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
42 When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?"
43 Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt." And Jesus said to him, "You have judged rightly."
44 Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.
45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet.
46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.
47 Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little."
48 Then he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
49 But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
50 And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
1 Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him,
2 as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
3 and Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.