The Barrel without a Bottom

21 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Should I forgive as many as seven times?

21 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Should I forgive as many as seven times?

21 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Should I forgive as many as seven times? 22 Jesus said, “Not just seven times,
but rather as many as seventy-seven times
Matthew 18:21-22

You might think that the only purpose of a barrel without a bottom would be to wear it! What else could it be used for? Nothing could be kept in it.?

We could pour into it all the hurts that come from others. Since it didn’t have a bottom, the hurts couldn’t stay around. Wouldn’t that be a good idea! By not holding onto hurts, they would not bother us. Jesus teaches us never to stop letting go of hurts—never to stop forgiving. He tells a powerful story to make his point.

When it comes to acts of love and kindness we receive from others, hold onto these in your heart. Remembering love will keep you grateful, for all love and kindness starts with God. Right now, stop for a moment and hold onto the love of God for you.

Matthew 18:21-35

Examples of Bible Breaths Learn More…
Never ceasing to forgive v. 21
Your mercy with me always v. 33
As I forgive, You forgive v. 33
Lord, You’re kind to everyone.

Never ceasing to forgive v. 21

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from the Lectionary,
During most of Lent and Easter we read the Gospel of John.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Giving My Best to God

This reading from last week is offered again today,
which is more accurately the Torah reading in Synagogues today.

A journey of 40 years is a bit long, don’t you think? That’s how long God’s people wandered in the desert from being freed as slaves in Egypt, to Canaan, the land promised them by God. The journey was so long, that those who first left Egypt died along the way. It was their children that made it to the final stretch of the journey.

Moses has some instructions to give to the people when they finally arrive. In order to remember all that God had done for them, he wants them to offer to God the first fruits that will grow in the new land.

Think of your talents and all that makes you special. Who you are and what you bring into life is really God’s gift to you. When we give our lives back to God, its’ a very strong way to be filled with thanks for the marvelous gift of life.

Deuteronomy 26:1-11

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

The Saturday passages follow the reading list that Jewish people use in their synagogue worship throughout the world. They are taken from
“The Torah,” the first five books of the Bible from Genesis to Deuteronomy that are read each year beginning with autumn.

These Firestarters are for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

From Shame to Fame

“Christ the Redeemer” Andrea del Sarto 1486-1530

“You don’t know what you’re asking!
Can you drink from the cup that I’m about to drink from?”
Matthew 20:22

I think the mother of the disciples of James and John must have thought that Jesus was a kind of “American Idol”! Their mom saw how famous Jesus had become and she wanted her sons to be part of all that fame. Jesus had to set her straight. The fame that Jesus was having soon turned to the shame of the cross, since his enemies got jealous of him for being so famous. However, because of Jesus’ love for us, that shame turned to fame again in the resurrection.

So if you want to be a “Kingdom Idol,” just keep loving, no matter what. You’ll run into some suffering, but just keep your eyes upon Jesus.

Matthew 20:20-34 

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.‘s Commentary.

In Year A, we continue to read from the Gospel of St. Matthew.

These Firestarters are for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.