#Forgiveness and #Debt

Matthew 18:21-35

Genesis 50: 15-21

It would happen that the week I’m preaching on forgiveness (thank you God & lectionary), a bully from Jr. High would ask to friend me. (He used to tell me to shut up whenever I spoke…for like a whole entire year)

Any other week I’d say yes or no and move on

But am I a holy person or not (the answer is no, no holier than anyone else…in fact when someone comes to tell me I’m a holy person, usually its to complain about me, so I def. do not lay claim to that title)

When I posted about it on FB, the discussion turned into a “Should I friend them” discussion..harkening on the very Jr. High School Experiences I didn’t like to begin with…and were actually off point.

Here’s the deal, I’m generally not bitter about Jr. High (anymore) I went to my pastoral psych eval and realized that even though I was “over it” I was still bitter so I worked hard to reframe my bitterness (Didn’t I marry someone I met in Jr. High, so it wasn’t all bad, besides my experiences laid the groundwork for my empathy and ministry that I do today). Is that my moment to say: “Do not fear. Am I not in the place of God”

But…I wanted–something more…

Debts…I feel like this person…owed me something. The listening that is last week’s lectionary…or acknowledgement of who I am, or best yet a real and sincere apology.

What happened to the whole “all we owe each other is love” thing that I so felt and preached on last week..

Debts…

Forgiveness is about feeling a debt, which really I DON’T want to be a debtholder….I owe so many debts to so many people which I have no clue whether  I will ever pay them off…and ….I hate them…(the debts that is, not the people)

I love that my children will never starve, but I never want people to feel the horrible crushing thing that is debt in my life…I don’t want people to feel like they are less of a person because they have to think about what they owe on a regular basis…

the forgiveness of debts…the debts part of forgiveness is clearer now than ever

so…forgiveness it is….

Money, money, money

 

This is a conversation I had with my sister earlier today….

Izzy: I don’t want to be a grownup anymore
Me: I’ll be a grown up as long as I don’t have to worry about money all the time anymore.
Izzy: Ok, deal…

Student Debt (“According to the federal Reserve Bank of New York, almost 13 percent of student-loan borrowers of all ages owe more than $50,000, and nearly 4 percent owe more than $100,000. These debts are beyond students’ ability to repay, (especially in our nearly jobless recovery” read more in the link)

Student Debt is a national issue–if you don’t have crippling debt, chances are your child or grandchild does. I recently got told by an older pastor that she just “couldn’t relate” to my debt issues even though her daughter was stuck in the position I was describing…

You know the situation where you are working as hard as you can (usually not even in your field) and you are receiving neither self fulfillment, nor enough money to pay your bills….

I’ll say what I’ve said many times before–almost everyone I know is looking for work. Either they are looking for a better paying job, or they are looking for another job on top of the one they are already doing.

Look, if I knew I was at least on my way to paying down my/our family debts…I would be ok with this whole adulthood thing…but until I can, I feel like a failure as an adult–and if that’s how I feel how does the rest of the millennials deal?

Life, Fairy Tales, God, Children: How Katy Works

Why do I go to church?

You know, most people my age don’t go to church

Most of them don’t even believe in religion

They may believe in God, but if they do it tends not to be the “standard” version of God

These people are usually identified as “nones‘ (which is kind of a detrimental name, even though I know it isn’t meant that way…maybe we should be calling them/us something else) Something like 75% of people my age don’t affiliate in their religion

(for more about why I include myself, a pastor, in this at times, please read my post “I don’t Know What I believe”)

But I believe in God….Life is just too short to be meaningless…

Meaningless is just too hopeless to be believed

And people are just to wonderful to give up on….

And because of these truths, I believe in God….I know that not everyone believes what I believe, and I don’t mind (usually). As long as you aren’t preaching hate as gospel, I’m pretty ok with most beliefs…after all I’m not the one who is going to judge whether the fig tree is bearing fruit. That is up to the boss.

What I do worry about, is my generation in terms of willingness to try to religion. Have we given up? Do we truly think it has nothing to offer? Does the bad really outweigh the good? Do we think that we can only find our own spirituality outside of church? (What does that have to say about church, but what does that also have to say about us).

I recently learned that millenials are those of us born between 1980 and 2000. Here is what we have in common.

We grew up in a boom, but came into maturity in a economic downturn/depression

We are the children of baby boomers

We tend to be called hipsters

We don’t have a lot of life opportunities: jobs, marriages, having children–>we have to put these things off

We were all born in a pre 9/11 reality

We grew up with Harry Potter

We like individuality–but tend not to rebel, but instead go off our own way

We are thought of as ungrateful and lazy

We don’t have a strong religiousity

Yet here I am: mother, fairy tale enthusiast and pastor. Here I am, trying to figure out if I have a strong enough call to conduct a ministry via sci-fi and fantasy that I need to invent something to do this.

In a lot of ways I am “old-fashioned” for my age. I am young, married, have three children and an “old-fashioned” kind of job that carries with it healthcare and a pension (at least for now). And yet, I feel the pain of those around me. I too am physically weighed dow

n by student debt that I’m terrified I’ll never get rid of, I too understand that completeness and fulfillment will not fully come from my employment (hmm…that should be on the list above).

So I guess I’ll keep at it, hang onto the understanding th

at my concept of religion and my relationship with God is helpful to some of the people in my life, and that people will or won’t join churches on their own, and its not my responsibility.

Still–and take this for what its worth–I like church and I believe in God…

Katy likes it! Hopefully if/when you are interested you can find a place that fits you too!