Now the odd thing is that he worked out that sum about thirty years ago and so the really clever among you, who still have your metaphorical marbles, will know that he had gone through all his marbles. So you might be thinking shame. Poor old fellah. But that’s not what the man thinks. Because he got another jar and again gave the sweets to the local children but instead of taking one marble out each Saturday, he puts a marble in. Each marble that goes into the new container is bonus time. It is more time to notice the flowers, to appreciate his great grandchildren, to learn to cook a new dish.
When Jesus died he showed us just what it is to love. Human beings did their worst to him. He was betrayed by one of his best friends, he was flogged, he was nailed to a cross and passers-by were told that he was a criminal And he still went on loving them despite all that. He even prayed for them and for us, saying to God, "Father, forgive them for they don't know what they're doing." I say he prayed for us for that is what we human beings still don’t know what we are doing.
In a way, we still nail him to the cross, because we human beings still betray other people, still damage and hurt other people, still gossip about and malign other people. And every time we do that, it's like hammering another nail into his hands and feet. Yet God forgives us. We have all been forgiven so much, and all God asks in return is that we love and forgive each other just as Jesus showed us. And then we can receive God’s love and forgiveness as well.
How many marbles do you have left? There are 290 in my metaphorical sweetie jar. How many bonus marbles have you collected? How much time do you have for that act of forgiveness, for that demonstration of love?
The more we love and forgive in this life the more we will know of resurrection in this life. But one day we will know life in a fantastic new way when we find ourselves in the presence of God. If you learn to love and forgive in this life, then you'll find yourself living and loving with God in your new life after death.
How many marbles do you have left? Life is too short to waste time on grudges and hatred and spite and resentment. Let it all go. Give it over into the hands of Jesus and open your heart to him so that you too can receive all he has waiting for you. And then it won't matter how many marbles have passed through that jar.