Burr Ridge United Church of Christ

Worship 10:00 A.M., Sundays


Holiday Worship Schedule

New Years Day
January  1 - 10:00 a.m.
We will usher in the new year with Holy Communion 

Read Matthew 25:31-46

Epiphany 1
January 8 - 10:00 a.m.
Sunday School Pageant  and Bake sale

Read Matthew 3:13-17

Epiphany 2
January 15 - 10:00 a.m.
Festival of Lessons and Carols
Read John 1:29-42

Epiphany 3
January 22 - 7:00 p.m.
Read Mathew 4:12-23

Epiphany 4
January 29 - 10:00 a.m.
Holy Communion will be offered 

Read Matthew 5:1-12




Mid-Week Bible Study

7:00 p.m., Wednesdays

We are currently reading the Epistle to the James. This has been a controversial book throughout church history.  For example, Martin Luther believed that the book should be expelled from the Bible because it teaches a works righteousness, that salvation can be achieved by our own efforts.  Of course, the book has not been expelled from the Bible, but the controversy remains.  Please join us for a spirited discussion.  

Lectionary Bible Study

8:45 a.m., Sundays 

This is a very rigorous discussion of the Gospel lesson for the day.  Many a sermon has been changed at the last minute because of this discussion.  Please join us.  

 

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Pastor's Message

January 2017

   I often revisit the subject of forgiveness.  In fact, I revisit the subject of forgiveness every day.  I do so because of guilt.  Traditionally, guilt is sorrow for sin.  I like the word “sorrow,” even if it sounds old-fashioned.  Sorrow pierces the heart and is inescapable.  It will not let go.  When I have done wrong, it nails my conscience.  It will not let me off the hook.  I have no other choice than to seek forgiveness – forgiveness from God, from the person I have failed, and from myself. 

Forgiveness from God is the easy part.  We are already forgiven by the blood of the lamb, by the death of Jesus on the cross.  We are to go to the person we have offended and seek their forgiveness.  However, they may choose not forgive us.  Their response is out of our control.  But what we must do is seek their forgiveness. 

Now comes the hard part.  To forgive oneself.  This is a great mystery.  That it is easier to seek forgiveness from God and from the neighbor, than it is to seek forgiveness from ourselves.  It is so difficult to let go of the guilt we carry in our hearts because of our sins, failings, mistakes, or wrongs.  We seem to cling to our guilt, rather than let it go.  I think the reason for this is that we find the prospect of our own forgiveness to be scary.  We feel more comfortable when we cling to what is known.  Because the known is predictable.  It is life as usual.  We have built mechanisms to protect ourselves from our guilt.  It is the unknown that scares us.  A life in which we forgive ourselves is risky.  We do not know what we can expect from such a life of forgiveness.  Such a life may change us in ways that are unimaginable.  Forgiveness may make us vulnerable to God and others because forgiveness requires that we open our hearts to them.  And what might they do with that?  Use it against us?  

What then are we to do?  There is only one way to proceed.  We must have courage.  To have faith in Christ is to entrust our life to Christ.  It is to live in Christ.  Therefore, Christ is able to give us his courage by which he sustained the cross.  His courage was that strong.  It is the strength of his courage which will enable us to forgive ourselves, to let the guilt go, and to face whatever consequence follow from that letting go. 

 

 

Announcements


Women’s Wellness - 

Third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. for more information contact Deb Sanford 630-330-5251 or Susann Pedersen 630-863-5736. Food will be provided.

Book Club
12:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 4

We will discuss Wrestling with Wonder: A Transformational Journey through the Life of Mary by Marlo Schalesky.  Please feel free to join us for the discussion.  Please bring a brown bag lunch.  

Friday Night at the Movies
7:00 p.m., Friday, January 27

We will discuss Wrestling with Wonder: A Transformational Journey through the Life of Mary by Marlo Schalesky.  Please feel free to join us for the discussion.  Please bring a brown bag lunch.  

Annaul Congregational Meeting
11:15 a.m., Sunday,  January 29

We will vote on the Nomination Committee’s Report and the proposed budget for 2017












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