It comes every month in the mail so you would think by now I would be expecting it and yet it still finds a way of making me cringe. My friends at the mortgage company send a small love note each month to remind me of that sunny Spring day when I signed on the dotted line and uttered the phrase “I owe you.” And every month I proceed to send a large sum of money to slowly resolve this debt I owe which really just helps to suppress it for a few weeks until my mail carrier can bring me another. The good news is that I hear this will only last for the next thirty years or so.
I don’t think it is this monthly exchange of money that bothers me so much. This I have come to expect since the day we decided to buy a home. I wouldn’t mourn the loss of this ritual if it was to end, but at least it is predictable. What is difficult is a consistent reminder that I owe someone something. My accounts are unpaid. There is a deficiency and I’m on the wrong end.
I have debts that are not as easily dealt with. Money cannot make these ones right. I simply owe too much to too many. I owe a girl in elementary school who was ridiculed for things I shared with my classmates. I owe my parents for disobeying them and sneaking out of the house in high school to go somewhere they told me I could not go. I owe my wife for caring more about winning an argument than listening to her. I owe my kids. I owe my friends. I owe my enemies. Most of all, I owe my heavenly Father.
There is a deficiency and I’m on the wrong end.
It is this sobering realization that makes the gospel so miraculous- that in Jesus, we find freedom from debts that have our names on the dotted line. That in Jesus, we find one who is willing to take the weight of all that we owe at a terrible cost to himself. That in Jesus, we can now be the kind of people that live in freedom, all the while freeing others of any debt they may owe us.
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.