Forgive us our Debts and Trespasses

"Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."

Because the bread and forgiveness aspects of this sentence are separated into two verses we tend to think of them as two different things. We also get hung up about whether debts or trespasses should be forgiven.

The truth is that we need both physical and spiritual bread to live. We need to both receive and give forgiveness to be healthy. I think that our greatest need, both individually and corporately, is the reconciliation that comes from the giving and receiving of forgiveness. This is not to say that God does not want to hear about our needs but to emphasize what our greatest need is. We need to both give and receive forgiveness.

And when I think about debt versus trespass I think of our need to forgive and be forgiven. We have a debt of love to each other and when we do not love our neighbor we trespass against them. The definition of sin or trespass encapsulates the idea of missing the mark. In a sense this involves an expectation to hit the mark or pay off a debt. And the fact is that we can neither hit the mark nor pay off the debt. It is why we need forgiveness.

Lord I forgive. Please forgive me.

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