Thursday, August 16, 2018

Drum Major

Peter approached Jesus and asked him, "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him?  As many as seven times?"  Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.”

I’ve heard of "76 trombones that led the big parade with a 110 cornets close at hand.  They were followed by rows and rows of the finest virtuosos, the cream of ev’ry band…” [from “The Music Man”].   But, I’ve never considered forgiving 77 times let alone more than a few times.  After all, fool me once shame on you (so I’ll forgive), but fool me twice, shame on me (forgive you not).

Forgiveness is hard when my “brother” repeats his offence with no remorse.   Then again, for those with addictions, such as from alcohol or opioids, repeated forgiveness is necessary regardless of the number of times. 

Our loved ones and friends might trespass against us many times when they are addicts struggling to rid themselves of a painful grasp that never really goes away for most people.  The grip may lessen a bit, but the hand of addiction is always ready to close tight again – into a fist.

For those who needs us we should follow them like the finest virtuosos; help them; and forgive  them over and over again.   When we do, we become the cream of ev’ry band with Jesus leading the big parade.   He is our drum major who we follow.

Deacon David Pierce

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