Passage: Matthew 6:9-13 and 18:21-35
O God, you are life, wisdom, truth, bounty, and blessedness, the eternal, the only true good; our God and our Lord, you are our hope and our heart’s joy – we acknowledge with thanksgiving that you have made us in your image, and that we may direct our thoughts to you. Lord, make us know you aright, that we may love, enjoy, and possess you more and more; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-Anselm (1033-1109) Archbishop of Canterbury known for his godly character, sharp intellect, and vital contribution to the church’s understanding of the person and work of Christ.
When is a time you have forgiven someone? What was the process like for you? Do you think of forgiving as an easy or difficult thing to do? Why?
Read Matthew 6:5-13 and 18:21-35. What ideas or phrases surprise, encourage, or spark questions for you? How does the parable help us understand what it means to pray, “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”?
What is the goal or purpose of forgiveness? What is Jesus teaching us by teaching us to pray this petition?
Christians are called to understand, experience, and extend the gift of forgiveness. Every Sunday at Covenant Church, we practice the Prayer of Confession and Communion. How do these elements of weekly worship help you to understand, experience, and extend forgiveness? What daily worship practices do you have to help you grow in receiving and extending forgiveness?
Ephesians 4:32 states, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” God’s disruptive grace encourages us to not leave our lives the way they are, but to be renewed and transformed by the resurrection power of Jesus. In what areas of your life are you wrestling with what it looks like to be kind and compassionate and forgiving? How can understanding and experiencing God’s kindness, compassion, and forgiveness towards you help you with these particular people or circumstances in your life?
If you would like to read more on forgiveness, check out pastor Tim Keller’s book Forgive: Why Should I and How Can I?
Share with your group how they can be praying for you: what is weighing on you from this past week? What are you praising God for from this past week?
“If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone, the new is here. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ – not counting our sins against us, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18