Enews: Sunday, September 6, 2020

Dear Friend,
14th Sunday after Pentecost
Who are our enemies? Our Sunday readings cause us to wrestle with a challenging issue. What do we do when someone has sinned against us? When someone causes us harm? How do we handle this when they are part of our community, our family? While the Hebrew scriptures were written in a time when war was common, when survival of the people was caught up in the struggle with neighbors, we still have enemies today.
Jesus said, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” in Matthew 5:44. But loving our enemies when we are still harmed by them is a difficult task. Jesus offers the disciples a way forward, but it is one that sometimes gets misused, where the victim is not heard and asked to leave. These are difficult passages, but Jesus reminds us not to take this lightly.
We always begin with love, and we do what is possible to participate in God’s reign and reconciliation. For God does not desire punishment, as the prophet Ezekiel taught; God desires for us to turn back to God’s ways.

God gives Moses and Aaron the instructions for the Passover meal – for the animal that must be chosen, sacrificed and eaten, how it is to be prepared, and the way the Israelites must eat it, with urgency and ready to travel. The blood of the animal is to be placed on the doorposts of their homes so that the plague of death which comes on the Egyptians will not harm the Israelites.
An exhortation for God’s people to praise God both publicly (in the assembly) and privately (on their beds) and through their praises to proclaim and establish God’s reign and overcome wicked kings and nations (Note: The sword image is a metaphorical reference to the power of the praise expressed by God’s people, not a literal call to religious violence).
Paul exhorts the believers to owe no debt to anyone except the ongoing debt of love, which fulfils the law. Because of the urgency of their hope, Paul encourages the believers to live pure lives, free from the dark deeds to which they may be tempted.
Jesus teaches his followers a gracious process for making right with those who have hurt them – going first to the individual, then, if necessary, taking along a couple of witnesses, and finally, taking the matter to the church. Then he encourages his followers to agree, for in doing so, they find power in prayer and Christ’s presence in their gathering.
Prayer of Brokenness
Triune God, You created us to be in relationship, for You are a relational God, and You made us in Your image. However, we have distorted Your image and broken relationship with You and others. We have abused and misused power. We have caused harm, sometimes unaware of our power and privilege. Call us into accountability, O God.
Call us into the hard work of seeking forgiveness, which includes restoring what has been lost, repairing what has been broken. For all of us have sinned, all of us have fallen short, but sometimes, we are not aware of the damage we have done. May we be open to criticism that builds up, even when it calls us out, and listen to those for whom we have caused harm.
Soften our hearts, O God, to hear words that are hard, for You are with us. Your gift of forgiveness and grace frees us to enter the work here on earth, to help repair and restore, as the heavenly kingdom is ready for us. In Your name we pray. Amen.

Prayer with Deacon Ginny tonight at 7:30pm . And it will continue using the ZOOM meeting format every Thursday. It is important that you register no later than 11:30am., by email to the office. A log with meeting ID and password will be email you, so you can enter the meeting.

Evening Prayer bulletin for Thursday, September 3

Link to facebooklive

Please make sure that on Sunday, September 6th  you have bread/crackers and grape juice or ….
As we will be celebrating Holy Communion online.

There are still slots available for the Annual Oktoberfest Lunch on Sunday, September 20. 

The format is changed but the same tasty meal will be provided. 

In light of our group size and other considerations, we need to do as other food providers are doing: provide carry out dinners. They will be available between 11:30 and noon.

If you’d like to sign up for the feast, please call or email Susan Friend (lernakid@aol.com)

no later than September 12. 

Pickup details will be provided when you sign up.  

$25/person is the price

For the last couple years, we have partner with Pleasant Lane School – Lombard SD 44 (not far from our building) as part of our collaboration with Kids Hope USA. I have no doubt that kid lives have change because of the caring mentors who share their time with kids looking for a positive outcome in life.   Denise Karhoff King has done an incredible job as our program director. But here is the deal, even more so today, mentors are need it and you can do it remotely or other ways that NOT required in person sections.
As the school goes e-learning, we will have room at the end of the instructional time to connect the student. And here is the call… if you think this will be a good opportunity for share your gifts, please contact Pastor Luis.


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