Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we’re forgiven—really forgiven—completely forgiven. Not just “I-won’t-punish-you-but-I will-always-see-you-as-a-sinner” forgiven, but “Your-sins-are-completely-gone—I-don’t-even-remember-them—and-I-love-you-with-all-my-heart” forgiven. It’s hard to imagine it because we know that we don’t deserve it. We feel our guilt and we know the darkness that still lives in our hearts. We know that our thoughts aren’t holy, our actions aren’t pure, and our words don’t always sound like Jesus. And we don’t stop sinning. We know who we are.
But we underestimate God. His love is limitless. His forgiveness is complete. And he means it when he says our sins are gone. He doesn’t see sin when he looks at us; he sees his children—washed clean and pure.
Joseph’s brothers are a great example of carrying guilt and underestimating forgiveness.
And Joseph is a good example of God’s heart.
When their father, Jacob, died, it occurred to Joseph’s brothers that Joseph might have been waiting until his father was gone before he paid them back for the horrible things they had done to him. So, they tried to leverage Joseph’s feelings for his father to keep Joseph from hurting them.
Joseph wept when they said that. He had forgiven them a long time ago. He was focused on what God was doing and he really wanted to share God’s love with his family. There was nothing left to forgive. It broke his heart to realize that his brothers were still trapped in their guilt and their shame. He wanted them to experience the joy and the freedom of forgiveness. What a beautiful picture of God’s grace!
God’s people still display that grace. The church is a place of forgiveness. It’s a place where guilt is removed and shame is washed away. It’s a place where sinners find freedom and share the love of God with each other. It’s rare to find a place where everyone is equally guilty and just as equally forgiven. It has to be a place filled with God—a place where we’re gathered in his name. It’s church. Come and share the love!
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Here is this week’s bulletin: 2020-09-20 The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
We’re Starting Bible Classes! The first Sunday in October (the 4th), we will hold a half hour Bible class downstairs in church after each of our services. You are welcome and encouraged to attend. We will observe whatever the current mandates are and we are going to ask you to clean surfaces at the end of class.
Politics is driving me crazy! This election season is as chaotic as any that we can remember. Talk and drama about the upcoming presidential election are hot. Social media tensions are rising, loved ones are dividing along party lines, and candidates are slinging mud at their opponents. In response, frustrated Christians often wonder what’s happening to America and where God is in the confusion. We’re going to find a calm, biblical approach to politics. Starting Sunday, October 4, we’ll look at how God has set up the government as his instrument of order and how we’re supposed to relate to it. We’ll look at the two kingdoms, the separation between church and state, and our messy political world. It’s going to be great! We’ll meet in the church basement after both Sunday morning services.
We Need Your Input!
With everything up in the air due to COVID, our evangelism plans are uncertain. Your feedback will help us decide if this is a way we want to reach out to our community.
Please take these 3 short surveys:
Have you been looking for a fun activity to connect with your children? I know I have but I don’t have a lot of extra time. Do any of you find yourself in the same boat? Well Trinity Lutheran Church and School has a great solution to this obstacle. It’s our virtual sunday school. The teaching of the sunday school is provided on YouTube. The YouTube video allows you to get into God’s Word with your child easily. A christ-light lesson paper is provided to you at no cost as well to follow along with the YouTube lesson. If you wish to view one of the YouTube lessons feel free to go to Northwestern Publishing House on YouTube and click on the christ-light sunday school lesson.
Now after reading this letter and viewing the christ-light lesson on YouTube please strongly consider taking a quick break with your amazing children to explore God’s Word with your family. If you have any questions at all please contact me, Kat Ehlers, at 989-326-0396. I mostly respond to text messages but feel free to call as well. I dont always answer numbers I don’t know so please leave a voicemail and I will call you back as soon as I can. And if you wish to get involved please call Trinity Lutheran Church at 715-732-9868 (leave a message if your call is not answered) or you can text or call me, Kat Ehlers, with your child’s first and last name and the grade they are in. To see a preview of this Sunday, September 20 Lesson Video and Student Lesson, visit nph.net/ss-at-home. Printed Student Lessons for your child will be available for pick-up at church OR Printed Student Lessons for your child will be mailed directly to your home. If you would like them mailed directly to your home, or sent via email please contact the church office. May God bless your child as we together continue to share His love.
God’s blessing to you and your family,