Weekly Reflection for Sunday September 11, 2011

Lectionary (Year A): Exodus 14:19-31 or Genesis 50:15-21; Psalm 114 or Exodus 15: 1b-11, 20-21 or Psalm 103 (1-7), 8-13; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35

Theme: Forgiveness

Message: “Forgiven…to Forgive”

  1. We all Need Forgiveness
  2. We all are forgiven by God
  3. We need to forgive, too!

Quote(s):

“Without forgiveness there can be no real freedom to act within a group.”  Max DePree, Leadership is an Art

“Whenever I see…what my blessed Lord has done for me at Calvary, I am ready to forgive anybody anything.  I cannot withhold it.  I do not even want to withhold it.” Philip Keller

“Every one of us who can say, ‘I am a pardoned sinner,’ knows very well that this can never mean that I do not sin anymore, ‘I am holy, or better, though somewhat crassly, I have been cleansed by moral chemistry,’  No, we know only too well the things that still lurk in our hearts.  We know that the wolves still go on howling in the cellars of our life.” (Helmut Thielicke)

“He who refuses to forgive destroys the bridge over which he himself must cross.” Anonymous

Film, other visual aids:

Stand By Me

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

Music: “There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy,” “God, Be Merciful to Me,” “Lord, Speak to Me, That I May Speak”

Opening Prayer

O Christ, we recognize that in you all things become new.  Because of you there can be new beginnings in our relationships with one another.  In experiencing the freedom and the joy of having our sins forgiven we can also live in that freedom to practice that same forgiveness with our brothers and sisters, our neighbors and friends, our spouses and our children.  May we learn to live in the spirit of forgiveness, now and always.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Intercessory:

ALL HAVE SINNED AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD (Romans 3:23)

THE HATRED…which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class; FATHER FORGIVE.

THE GREED…which exploits the labours of men and lays waste to earth; FATHER FORGIVE.

OUR ENVY…of the welfare and happiness of others; FATHER FORGIVE.

OUR INDIFFERENCE…to the plight of the homeless and the refugee; FATHER FORGIVE.

THE LUST…which uses for ignoble ends, the bodies of men and women; FATHER FORGIVE.

THE PRIDE…which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God; FATHER FORGIVE.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (St. Paul to the Ephesians).

-The above prayer was at the altar of Coventry Cathedral.

Benediction:

As those who by God’s grace have received His forgiveness, go forth and practice forgiveness yourselves toward all who need it.  And the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen”

avatar About Bruce Laverman

Bruce is a retired pastor and former Director of Evangelism in the Reformed Church in America now living in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the RCA's representative to Evangelism Connections and serves as Managing Editor of this Web site.

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