If you are not a Sci-Fi fan, maybe C-3PO just looks like an odd jumble of letters and an number. But for Star Wars fan’s C-3PO is well known as a protocol droid (robot) central to all of the Star Wars movies. You may not know this but there is a new animated Star Wars series call the “Clone Wars.” I don’t get to watch it often, but my son does! Recently I saw a blurb for an episode that fits out theme pretty well it was simply called, Trespass.
As I mentioned yesterday as we look at the petition “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us,” sins, debts, or trespasses, they all work to do the heaving lifting.
I guess I have been partial to trespasses as that is the word I grew up using. But I like it for other reasons. To trespass put most simply is to go someplace we do not belong. If you think about it is a perfect word for what we do, cross boundaries, we play gods all the time. The boundaries we cross are not just in relation to God either, we cross boundaries in each other’s lives all the time.
Getting back to C-3PO… It seems people are trespassing all over the place, because of greed, or pride or who knows what. So in an effort to broker a tentative peace, Anakin turns to C-3PO for help — and finds his fluency in more than six million forms of communication to be most useful.
There is only one language we need to understand when it comes to sin, debts and trespasses and that is the language of forgiveness. The debts we pile up, the sin we commit, and the boundaries we cross as we trespass are impossible for us to pay off. The Good News is that God has indeed wiped out our sins and has communicated this in the most concrete of ways in the gift of his Son Jesus the Christ.
A little now on forgiveness… Some have taken Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us,” as a conditional clause. If it is we are all in some serious doo doo. No, as I have prayed and studied this prayer I have heard in these words both an example and a goal. We are to forgive as God in Christ has already forgiven us. That is the promise of baptism, that is the promise of Jesus. We have the purest form of forgiveness laid out for us here, this is the example. Secondly this is also our goal, we are called to become what we already are in Christ Jesus, as we learn to forgive as we have first been forgiven.
Finally I must speak to our forgiveness of others. As our devotions stated, it is indeed a two way street. Often people who have been hurt quite badly struggle with the issue of forgiveness. This is an honest an faithful struggle not a sign of weakness. We need to learn, heal and grow from experiences where we will be called upon to forgive. It may not come quickly, it may not become perfectly, but this is why Jesus taught us to pray: “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us,”