“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.”
Are there times when I speak these words rather listlessly or slide over them rather quickly? Times when I don’t feel my pressing need for God’s forgiveness as I might? It can happen. Like using room deodorizer, my sinful self tries to mask the foul scent of my daily thoughts. Like applying glossy paint, it tries to cover up the defects in my daily words. Like macular degeneration, sin blurs the consciousness of my daily actions. How often it succeeds in thoughts like “I’m not so bad,” “At least I’m not as bad as others,” and “I haven’t done that.”
When God says, “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy” (Leviticus 19:2), he isn’t suggesting that less than one hundred percent from me would satisfy him. He demands perfection. When God says, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), he isn’t exaggerating. In his eyes, every thought, word, and deed that goes astray is a burden that breaks my back and earns me hell.
“Forgive us our sins” is something I am to pray, not just now and then but daily and earnestly.
On Calvary’s cross, God did what I, the burdened sinner, couldn’t do. He cleared my account by drawing the crimson line of Jesus’ precious blood through my debt. “Paid in full,” he says of all my sins. Not because he had to but because he wanted to. His love compelled him to send the best he had, his Son. Now his grace reaches for me, offering me the forgiveness I don’t deserve and yet so desperately need. “Assure me of your forgiveness, fill me with the peace it brings,” I pray in this petition that lowers my eyes to my needs and then lifts them up to his cross.
There’s more. The Savior also teaches me to pray, “As we forgive those who sin against us.” With these words I’m not trying to cut a deal with God. I’m not telling him that he has to forgive me because I have forgiven others. It’s the other way around. I’m reminded that because he has already forgiven my many sins, as a result I can offer the same forgiveness for the few sins others commit against me. With these words I’m asking God to make me more like him. I’m asking him to help me pass his forgiveness on freely to others.
This has to be the greatest petition in the Lord’s Prayer. How can I pray the others without praying this one? Only when I have forgiveness from God can I carry anything to him in prayer. Also, only when I have experienced his rich forgiveness can I begin to forgive others.
7:00 PM Sunday:
Sunday School and Adult Bible Study
September thru May
10:15 AM - 11:00 AM
coffee and treats
Summer Sunday Worship services
Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day weekend
no Sunday School
Fellowship coffee/snacks following Sunday service:
19 min Bible Study Sundays
Holy Communion is celebrated on the first and third Sundays of the month and the Wednesdays preceding these Sundays. The WELS synod practices close communion, contact Pastor Barlow for more information.
Handbell Choir practice
Men's Breakfast Bible Study
Sat. February 15th
Seniors Fellowship Thursday February 20th
Worship w/Western Accents
Sunday February 23rd
Lent Supper 5:30 PM
Worshp Service 7:00 PM
*See Calendar Page for full month**
schedule of events