September 12, 2011

Three Themes of Forgiveness in Matthew 18:21-22



IN MATTHEW 18:21-22

Flax plant stems waiting to be turned into linen threads.

      The pastor of the Stahlstown United Methodist Church Charge, the Rev. Audrey Bell, presented the message at the annual outdoor service at the Flax Scutching Festival (Stahlstown, Pennsylvania) on September 11, 2011. She presented a message on forgiveness based on Peter’s question to Jesus about forgiving seven times.

      At the end of the service, she rang the bell four times, once each for the 8:46, 9:03, 9:37, and 10:03 events that occurred ten years ago on September 11, 2001.


     In Peter’s day forgiveness was a three-times matter for the devout.  

Peter came up to the Lord and asked, “How many times should I forgive someone who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?

Jesus answered: Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times.  (Matthew 18:21-22, Contemporary English Version)

     Jesus presented a new playing field, with numbers too large to keep score: seventy-seven, or in some Biblical versions, seventy times seven, or four hundred-ninety, according to the Rev. Audrey Bell, who said that this Scripture has three different themes.

     First, forgiveness is always (more…)

March 28, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 35



Monte Holland

This is the thirteenth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

 To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 34

Today’s photographs feature First United Methodist Church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where Monte had the opportunity to preach in 2003. To view click on:

The Lord’s Prayer (part 2)

     Today, we will look at the Lord’s Prayer and what it says. While reading the words is important, the “rubber hits the road” when we pray it and experience God’s presence in that time of meditation.

     The Lord’s Prayer is well-known because it is used so often. It is about the only prayer that can be said by many people in unison in public without a printed sheet. Church services usually include the Lord’s Prayer, prayed in unison.

     When I was growing up, we always prayed the Lord’s Prayer as a team before our high school wrestling matches. For many of the athletes, it was their only contact with that prayer and became a way to learn to recite it. It was also a good prayer to recite, because (more…)

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