And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. Matthew 18:27
So Alan and I paid off our mortgage for 220 South Country Club Road last month. Or two months ago. Whoopee. I guess. Because there really has been absolutely no change in anything as far as I can see, except I am sort of vaguely worried that I won’t pay the property tax on time or did our USAA insurance get canceled and anyway the mortgage has been automatically sucked out of our Tucson Federal Credit Union account for so many years that it never seemed very tangible. Just sort of a general weight hanging around that made me feel one with the masses. And I guess I always tried to figure out how to deduct the interest off of my Federal income taxes, but it never seemed to make much of a difference.
And even as a child the “Behold, I stand at the door and knock” verse always made me uncomfortable. And it’s only gotten worse, because I am so aware of the large sheafs of peeling paint in the back room and the kinda cute “artwork” Nicole finessed in the guest shower to make light of the fact that you have to turn on the shower with a wrench, and don’t even get me started about the cockroach-infested kitchen. And nice pastors always talk about Jesus going through my cupboards with me and helping me clean things up a bit, and really that makes my stomach tighten into knots because I know that the closet in Jincheng’s room is stuffed to the gills with random stuff like crumpled American Girl dolls and empty picture frames and old prom dresses.
But that’s not the way it is at all.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
And He really isn’t coming into my tattered and bedraggled albeit somewhat picturesque home. Rather I have (past tense) stepped out into His glorious grace, according to the abundance of His steadfast love, because of who He is, not because of me. The old is done and gone. I have been released.
And rather than the chore of sorting through my old rubbish, trying to decide what is salvageable, and what should be donated to Goodwill, and what should be hauled out immediately to the trash bin with an extended arm and pinched nose, it has been taken care of, totally. By Him.
And the whole thing about this story of the ungrateful servant is that I am not forgiving seventy times seven times with my leaky and spider-webbed and quite honestly, pretty self-centered understanding of paying off debt. Complete with mosquitos swirling, lazily, because they know exactly where their next fat and hapless meal is coming from.
No. Rather I am joyfully welcoming the world to join me in place of reconciliation. His reconciliation. His mercy. His grace. Abundant and overflowing. The love of Christ which passes knowledge and understanding.
As He has forgiven me my debts. Glory