Ministry Updates for Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

 Mission and Community Outreach

CAMP items for the Christmas Holiday Boxes are being requested in November.  Items being collected are:  Jiffy Cornbread Mix, Instant Hot Chocolate, Instant Potatoes, canned pineapple, mandarin oranges or vegetables, boxes of macaroni and cheese, and instant oatmeal.  Please drop off at the church during November or arrange for porch pickup on November 20 by a Mission Team member. 

 Youth Christmas Wreath Fund Raiser

The annual wreath sale will continue amid Covid-19!  We have moved the order form to an online format or you can call the church at 937-696-2502 to place your order.  Orders are due Wednesday, November 25th and they will be delivered to your home by a youth/church member on Saturday, December 5th (local deliveries only, please).  Contactless delivery is available – just note your preference on the order form.  Checks (no cash) must be sent to the church with “Wreaths” on the memo line to complete your order.  This fundraiser benefits the youth group to support their endeavors throughout the year.  We thank the congregation for your continued support!  Here is the order link:

 Scripture – Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 Reflection – Human Forgiveness

These words can be troubling. God doesn’t forgive unless we forgive?

It is important to note that after teaching his disciples ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ as we call it today, Jesus only offered commentary on one part of the prayer; the part about forgiveness. Forgiveness is central to the Christian faith. Without forgiveness we lose the cross. Without forgiveness we lose the significance of Jesus. Without Jesus we lose our relationship with God.

I believe God continues to work on us and for us, no matter the depth of our faults. But when we deny forgiveness to others that God freely gives to us, we are wandering into perilous territory. We are denying the heart of God.

When we deny the heart of someone, we deny the best of who they are. When we fail to figure out how to forgive others, or to even try, we are denying the heart of God. At that point, we no longer have faith in our own forgiveness. God does not take it from us. We rob ourselves of it. It gets pushed out the door when we let resentment take root and grow into hatred.

The cross of Christ is a gift that both gives forgiveness and calls us to forgive. It is a gift which is not to be divided.

Of course, God initiates forgiveness, but it is an act we are invited to give momentum to. Receive love and then give love. Receive forgiveness and then give forgiveness. This is the plan of God which will allow him to gather all people, or as many who might believe, into his kingdom of heaven.

Our Prayer

God of Love and God of Grace, we confess that it is so hard to believe you love us enough to forgive us. We confess that it is so hard to believe we can love enough to forgive others. Lord, we know that forgiveness is often more of a journey than an act, so help us be faithful to the journey. Help us believe you love us enough to forgive us our sins and trespasses. Help us believe that we can forgive those who have harmed us, even when it seems impossible, even when we don’t want to. Help us stay faithful to this journey of faith, as Christ was faithful to his journey, even to the cross.