Forgive us all, Lord
“Forgive us our trespasses” we say in prayer. Why not “forgive me my trespasses”? Why am I asking forgiveness for all those other people?
- Like Congress.
- Or convicted felons
- Or embezzlers
- Or child abusers
Oh my goodness. I must ask God to forgive us all, even those I don’t feel “deserve” forgiveness. Lump us all in there together. Because otherwise I am guilty of the Publican’s crime. Asking for forgiveness while standing in judgment of my brother.
Or Jonah’s sin. ‘Show those Ninevites no mercy, Lord. Look at how they’re behaving! We, we are the ones who deserve your attention and favor.’
Such words and ways reveal so much about the shallowness of our own character and how little we understand the ways of God.
Yes. I was having a Jonah moment this morning. Thinking about how I don’t want to live in a world where people who act like that and live like that can be forgiven.
Then I prayed, “Forgive us our trespasses, Lord. As we forgive those who trespass against us,” as Jesus taught us. And I saw the faultiness of my reasoning and shallowness of heart.
What kind of world would it be if God just forgave those who asked? What a weight of responsibility for those who are asking, for all of us? If we can have any hope at all, it is there.