15th Sunday after Pentecost
Being a disciple requires an expansive perspective on forgiveness. Today our perspective is broadened by the good news that God’s forgiveness is not based on our idea of fairness, but rather on abundant, unimaginable grace. God “does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities” (Ps. 103:10). The king forgives our entire debt, no matter how enormous it is (Matt. 18:23-27). We also are challenged to stretch our perspective and forgive each other. With Peter, we learn to stop keeping score (Matt. 18:21-22).
It’s not an easy thing to do. Again and again we fall back on limited human understandings of what is “fair.” Looking at the story of Joseph and his brothers, it’s easy for us to say that his brothers really didn’t deserve forgiveness. Even their plea for forgiveness is dishonest and manipulative—have they really repented (Gen. 50:15-17)? Joseph takes the wider view and realizes that it isn’t his brothers’ intentions that matter, but God’s. God’s forgiveness is much greater than what is fair, what we deserve.
So what does this new, broadened perspective look like in the lives of Christians and congregations? Paul provides a pragmatic glimpse: “Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them” (Rom. 14:3). If all are truly welcomed by God, we are called to share the good news of that welcome in all we say and do.
Watch the worship service for this week here.
Prayer of the Day
First Lesson Genesis 50:15-21
Alleluia New, “Hallelujah! We Sing Your Praises,”
Second Lesson Romans 14:1-12
Gospel Matthew 18:21-35
Message Hymn –
Prayer of the Faithful
Prayer of the Day
O Lord God, merciful judge, you are the inexhaustible fountain of forgiveness. Replace our hearts of stone with hearts that love and adore you, that we may delight in doing your will, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Readings & Psalm
Celebrate Holy Communion together “virtually”.
Please join with other worshipers and the pastors for this Sunday’s Communion service at 11:00 on ZOOM via computer, tablet or smart phone.
You simply need to have ready your own wine, grape juice, or apple juice as you choose, in a separate glass for each person. And have a piece of bread of your choice, or wafer, or cracker as you choose.
If you didn’t receive an email to join us this Sunday, you may find the ZOOM login information to login by entering your name and email in the green form.
Learn more with the additional resources in this post. Click through this post to find the materials.
Drive-through Nativity Story Saturday, December 18, 5:00pm - 8:30 pm This year we will again tell the story of Jesus' birth outside in lights, art, music, and a living creche scene. Come enjoy a colorful lighted series of signs and characters that show and tell the Biblical Nativity story with classical Christmas carols as you pass slowly through the parking lot. The story of Christ's birth will be told in lighted signs and figures lining the path from the entry of the Grace...
Adult Bible Study - Starts December 5 Sundays after Worship: 11:15am in Ronnencamp Hall However, we will continue to email to those that wish. Contact Frank or Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to get the Bible Study lessons emailed to you or want to learn more about the class. Stay well.Justice, Law, History The study focuses on Old Testament scriptures and the interaction between the ideal of justice, God’s pursuit of justice in history, and God’s gift of the law that allows humans to...
Offerings of Thanksgiving
While we are keeping physical social distance, there are still options for you to continue bringing your offerings to God and support the ministries of Grace.
- Mail a check to church address below
- Online bill pay through your bank
- Online giving – Orange button
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!
We thank the following for today’s flowers:
Pentecost 15, Lectionary 25, 9/13/2020
Copyright texts may be a smaller font to fit more information on a slide. These copyright acknowledgments are in the approximate order they occur in the service.
Liturgy and Hymns, Arr. © 2020 Augsburg Publishing House, admin. Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS000406.
“All Creatures Worship God” Tune: Public Domain, Text. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission, One License.Net # A-706744
New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
“Let Us Go Now to the Banquet,” Text and music © 1994 GIA Publications, Inc., 7404 S. Mason Ave., Chicago, IL 60638. www.giamusic.com. 800.442.3358. All rights reserved. Used by permission. One License.Net # A-706744
“Take My Life,” Text, Public Domain; Music, Music © 1999 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved, see above.