Sunday, September 20, 2009

encouraging reminders...

"The "kingdom of God," then, represents the infinite task of making good on Elohim's "good," of repeating his "good" from day to day, which means letting God's rule obtain."

"The Sabbath is to be a day of recreation, of re-creation, of continually renewing the ongoing work of creation, of mending the broken and healing the sick, of straightening the crooked and making the lame to walk, of inscribing Elohim's "good" on the bodies and the minds of those whose lives he touched."

"To be pure of heart is to be released from sin, which means to break the shackles of sin, quite the way a crippled man is healed and thereafter able to move about freely. These shackles are self-imposed, and God releases us from them. So when Jesus taught "your sins are released," he meant, you are made healthy again, no longer crippled or impaired." - Caputo

Perhaps we've made too much economy in the realm of forgiveness. Two words used in the New Testament for forgiveness - "charizomai" and "aphiemi". Neither are economic words. Jesus didn't go around balancing the Kingdom's budget of offenses. He went around healing and bringing new life, and releasing prisoners.

But then again, we do see Jesus teaching us how to pray - "forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors". Which in Matthew appears to be simply that, although the word used can be a metaphor for sin - the version in Luke clarifies the question by actually using the word for sin...revealing that Jesus was indeed speaking a language the people could understand. Which word did Christ actually use in the Lord's prayer?

Perhaps the mixed message is on purpose. The Kingdom of God is about being released from this debt, AND from this debt-mentality. Both in a financial and property-based sense, and the keeping track of offenses sense - as we see later in Jesus' dialogue about how often one should forgive their brother.

May we live our lives as people who are free from debts, allowing us to relate to others free from any indebtedness to us. In every way possible. And to live that, knowing God has brought/is bringing release and healing to creation through those created in His image living from such freedoms...

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