A144 – Pentecost 15 (Exodus 14:19-31 (15:1b-11); Matt 18:21-35)

 
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Themes of divine power, liberation, creation and salvation weave throughout the Exodus text. We talk about the ways the Crossing of the Red/Reed Sea has been used by oppressed communities to speak into their hope of freedom, and we also name the real violence that is implicit in the story. We note the echoes of Genesis 1; emphasis in Exodus 14/15 isn’t on military victory/conflict, but rather the power of God to bring renewal in impossible circumstances.

In the Matthew passage we hear about the centrality of forgiveness to Christian life, as well as the importance of acknowledging sin and the need for consequences. We refer to confession of sin in our liturgy, and the message of the gospel that we are a forgiven people. We grapple with the reality that those we’ve wronged are not ready/able to forgive. We point to Jesus as the one who embodies the gift of forgiveness but who labours still under the effects of sin – revealing God’s  promise of restoration while not denying the pain.

Miroslav Volf’s Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace. https://www.amazon.com.au/Free-Charge-Forgiving-Culture-Stripped/dp/0310265746

Link to conversation between Joel Baden and John Collins on Exodus 14-15.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brS1ouEUml0

Link to Obama speech here: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2013/03/21/remarks-president-barack-obama-people-israel

Brene Brown podcast on apologies:  https://brenebrown.com/podcast/harriet-lerner-and-brene-im-sorry-how-to-apologize-why-it-matters/