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Free Workshop Rotation Model Lessons - Season 3

Children’s Sermon

Matthew 18:21-35

Forgiveness Isn’t Easy

September 17, 2017

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Year A

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ASK    (a.k.a The On-Ramp)

  • Good morning!
  • I have a question for you: When you go outside and run around and yell and play, do you think you breathe faster or do you breathe slower than you are breathing right now? (faster)
  • And what would happen if you tried to do all that running around and yelling and playing while trying to HOLD your breath? Do you think that would work very well? (No, not really)
  • And why is that? (Because we need air!)
  • Right! The more we move around, the more air we need.

TELL    (a.k.a. The Freeway)

  • Keep this idea in mind of needing more of one thing in order to do more of another thing because we’re going to bring it up again in just a little bit.
  • But first, I want to talk about the story that Jesus told in today’s scripture passage.
  • The story Jesus told was about someone who owed a lot, a lot, a lot of money to the king, but couldn’t pay that money to the king when the king asked for it.
  • The king, though, forgave the man what he owed.
  • What I mean is that the king said, “It’s ok that you can’t give me back my money. In fact, let’s forget about it. You don’t have to ever pay me back.”
  • That was pretty nice of the king, don’t you think?
  • Now, later on, that same man is owed just a little bit of money by someone else.
  • You might think that after just being forgiven for the same thing, only bigger, the man would want to share this gift of forgiveness by forgiving the other person.
  • So, what do you think he did? Did the man forgive?
  • No, he didn’t. Not at all. The man did not offer any forgiveness to the other person.

SHARE the Good News   (a.k.a. The Destination)

  • Remember when we were talking about how you have to do more breathing if you want to do more running?
  • We see the same thing in today’s story.
  • We see that forgiveness, like running, isn’t easy and we need more of something else before we can do it.
  • Now, with the running, remembering to breathe more air is pretty easy, right? We do it without even thinking about it.
  • But remembering that we’ve received God’s forgiveness when we need to share forgiveness is not very easy at all. Not easy at all.
  • Which is why I think Jesus tells this story today.
  • Jesus is telling his disciples and us to keep remembering the forgiveness that God is giving to us, so that we know we have it to share.
  • Today’s story ends badly because the man couldn’t remember what God was giving him.
  • It’s a really sad ending because it did NOT have to end that way.
  • Forgiveness is one of the most powerful, important, and healing gifts we can ever give.
  • It’s a gift that God keeps giving to us – to you and to me so that we can keep sharing it with others.
  • And that’s the good news for today.


  • Let’s pray.  This is a repeat-after-me prayer.

Dear God,

Dear God,

Thank you for Jesus…

Thank you for Jesus…

…who teaches us about…

…who teaches us about…

…how you forgive us…

…how you forgive us…

…so that we can forgive each other.

…so that we can forgive each other.

  Thank you and amen

Posted August 24, 2014

Updated on September 10, 2017
Written and edited by Nathanael Vissia

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