Reflections and Announcements for September 13th | First Evangelical Lutheran Church
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Reflections and Announcements for September 13th

To the Saints at First Lutheran,

Too often we think forgiveness is important, even critical, because of how it affects the person being forgiven. No, it is not important for only that reason. Forgiveness is important because it primarily benefits the one offering the forgiveness. Forgiveness only benefits the one being forgiven IF that person is repentant, wants to reconcile, is willing to provide restitution and, has asked for absolution. Otherwise, forgiveness is about YOU. … Henry Ward Beecher said in his Life Thoughts that being able to forgive but not forget is just another way of saying “I cannot forgive.” Beecher is wrong.

Forgiveness is not saying “Forget it.”

Forgiveness is not saying “I forget.”

Forgiveness is not saying “It’s okay.”

Rather, forgiveness is saying ”I’m okay, and I am willing to let God deal with whether you are okay, and I am also willing to let go of my need to be the tool of correction and rebuke in your life.” …

Forgiveness is not saying “I no longer feel the pain.” Rather, forgiveness is saying “I no longer feel the need to hold on to your involvement in my pain.”

Read the following scripture for September 13:

Genesis 50:15-21; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35
Now reflect on this:

The readings accuse us: like Joseph’s brothers, we are afraid of people we have betrayed. Like Paul’s readers, we often argue with each other about issues that do not matter. Like Peter in Matthew, we want to limit our forgiveness of others. But One who is greater than Joseph is here. Jesus Christ was thrown into a deeper pit than Joseph when he was taken to the cross. Yet, in the resurrection he has become an even greater source of forgiveness and bread. Like the fictional king of the parable, God in Christ has forgiven us — each one of us — an impossible debt: 10,000 talents being something like 150,000 years of salary for a skilled worker. Strengthened by that forgiveness, poured over us today by the Spirit alive in this word, we are enabled again and again to forgive our neighbor whose debt to us, by comparison, is like only a few weeks of salary. Renewed in this mercy, we will live and die to the Lord.

Good News to Share:
As you read this the final window is being reinstalled in the Nave after being restored by Pittsburgh Stained Glass Studios. The work of cleaning the Balcony Window is also to be completed at this time. We plan to have a service of rededication as soon as possible when we are able to gather again. Thanks be to God!!

Fireplace Chats
The fourth installment of our Fireplace chats will be posted this coming Tuesday on our Facebook Page and Youtube channel. This one focuses on “non-traditional leadership modeling that allows adaptability, passion, and vision.” As we move forward with Project Thrive it is important that we become familiar with the seven characteristics of thriving congregations. Please keep the First Lutheran Thrive Leadership Team in prayer as they go through an orientation session on Saturday September 12.

Blessings to you all,

Pastor George

Back to School Prayer
Please pray for students, teachers, families, administrators and support staff.

Prayer List
Please let the office know if a person’s name or family needs to be added or removed on the Prayer List. Thank You.

Coffee and Colloquy
Join Pastor Brian every Monday Morning at 10:00 a.m. for Coffee and Colloquy.  Contact the church office for the link.

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Job Opportunities

See below two job possibilities with Inspiritus
Emergency Assistance Intake Specialist (TN)

Please pass this along to anyone who might be interested. It will remain open until we fill both positions.

Janet D. Arning
Regional Director
Middle Tennessee Region

Formerly Lutheran Services of Georgia &
Lutheran Services in Tennessee
Office: 1628 Rosa Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37208
Mail: P.O. Box 60597, Nashville, TN 37206
Phone: 615-881-4579 | |twitter:@weareinspiritus

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“Stewardship Thoughts”

God’s Grace Teaches:
God’s grace is extended to all people, and it teaches us how to live according to the Spirit and not according to the world. It teaches us what to avoid and what to do. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus: 2:11-14).

Good and gracious heavenly Father, it is only through your grace that I live this life and will live forever with you. I thank you for your generosity toward me. You give me so much. I especially thank you for the most indescribable gift the gift of your Son. Help me live a life worthy of your love and grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!

Please contact the office or come by if you would like a copy of “CHRIST IN OUR HOME” devotional for October, November, December 2020. Small and large booklets available.