Friday, September 11, 2020

September 11, 2020— Friday prior to Pentecost 15

Matthew 18:21–35—When we hear this parable, our first reaction is probably the same as the king’s: indignation and fury against the servant who was unmerciful, especially after he had been forgiven a far greater debt. We must ask ourselves: Are we like the unmerciful servant? God has forgiven all our sins at great cost—the life of His own Son. We ought to examine ourselves: Is there anyone against whom we hold a grudge, refusing to forgive because we have been wronged? If so, we are like the unmerciful servant. Rather, we ought to remember the Lord’s Prayer, where we plead, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. That is, we beg God’s forgiveness, and then pledge that we too will sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us.
When faced with the option of forgiving or not forgiving there can be one answer – you forgive. My forgiveness does not hinge on my desire, my feelings, or even my wiliness to forgive. My forgiveness finds its basis on what Jesus has said to me. When someone sins against you – you, yes you are the one who must forgive.
The Greek word for “forgive” means literally “to erase or wipe out.” Because Christians are imperfect human beings, the church is in need of forgiveness. Without it, members would live in friction, tension, disharmony, and disruption. Forgiveness is the oil that makes human relations move smoothly.
The King forgave His servant was unable to pay the debt. The debt was so huge that he could never bet back into the good graces of the King. The King forgave because the servant could not. The King forgave because He was good. That is what Jesus has done for you. God forgave not because you were good, not because you were deserving. He forgave because He loves you.
As God has shown mercy – were return mercy to others. That’s how forgiveness works. Out of His grace, Christ has made us new creatures. As Christ forgave so now you follow in the same tone when we deal with others.

Prayers for the occasion of the 19th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country

Prayer for peace in the world: Heavenly Father, God of all concord, it is Your gracious will that Your children on earth live together in harmony and peace. Defeat the plans of all those who would stir up violence and strife, destroy the weapons of those who delight in war and bloodshed, and, according to Your will, end all conflicts in the world. Teach us to examine our hearts that we may recognize our own inclination toward envy, malice, hatred, and enmity. Help us, by Your Word and Spirit, to search our hearts and to root out the evil that would lead to strife and discord, so that in our lives we may be at peace with all people. Fill us with zeal for the work of Your Church and the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which alone can bring that peace which is beyond all understanding;
Prayer for good government: Eternal Lord, ruler of all, graciously regard those who have been set in positions of authority among us that, guided by Your Spirit, they may be high in purpose, wise in counsel, firm in good resolution, and unwavering in duty, that under them we may be governed quietly and peaceably;

Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Woodcut “The Crucifixion” by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld copyright © WELS for personal and congregational use

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