Daily Devotion: Wednesday, January 7, 2015

As the body of Christ, we strive to make disciples of all, focusing on the next generation, through growing...
UP in God's Word and Sacrament
OUT into the community by caring for physical and spiritual need
TOGETHER in fellowship to build lasting relationships in Christ

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).

"Showing Jesus"  
January 7, 2015

Spanish Daily Devotions Stained Glass Crown 8-13-13Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples, but the LORD will arise upon you, and His glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah 60:1-3
This year the government of Sierra Leone banned Christmas.

In the past, some governments have put a kibosh on the festivities surrounding the Savior's birth because they didn't like the competition. Other governments, motivated by the religious non-Christian majority of their populace, just didn't want anybody to hear any mention of the Savior.

Sierra Leone's motivation was different. You see, Sierra Leone has passed Liberia as being the country with the greatest number of Ebola outbreaks.

As the president of the country said, "When you have parties, the risks are very high. We are very anxious to break the chain of transmission through parties and gathers." To that end, troops patrolled the streets to make sure the populace stayed away from any worship experience.

The same kind of thing once happened in the United States. That's right. It happened during the flu epidemic of 1917-1918. For those of you, who don't know, let me share. This flu was unique. It didn't take the old and infirm; it specialized in killing those who were young and healthy.

To stop the spread of that illness, many large communities decided, for a short time, to ban all forms of public worship. It was a difficult time for Christian congregations. At the very time when they felt people should be turning to the Lord and supporting each other, they were prohibited from doing so.

So what did they do? Did the churches forget the Savior's birth, life, death and resurrection?

They did not. What they did was this: they kept the lights of their churches burning 24 hours a day. Then they took out newspaper ads encouraging people to take an evening walk past the church. They suggested people might pay special attention to, and meditate upon, the message of God's love, which was on display in the congregation's stained-glass windows.

Many people took the suggestion and saw the Christ and His church in a different way.

Now I don't know what the believers of Sierra Leone did this past Christmas season. On the other hand, I do know the Holy Spirit can do some of His best work when human conditions are at their worst. It is then that He can motivate the redeemed to come forward and share the Savior's story of salvation in new ways, unique ways, different ways.

This is all just another way of saying, a government can shut down Christmas, but it can't silence the comfort and hope that comes in the Christ.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You have reached out to me through my Savior. Now may believers around the world reflect the wonders of Your great grace to those who remain lost. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor KlausIn Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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Today Read:
Genesis 18-19; Matthew 6:1-18

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YESTERDAY"S QUIZ ANSWER:    Who was Eliezer of Damascus?  Another good answer from Dianne Hance:  Genesis 15:2  "But Abram said, 'O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will
inherit my estate us (wait for it....) Eliezer of Damascus."  God took Abram outside and told him to count the stars if he
could.  "So shall your offspring be".  However, Sarai, Abram's wife took matters into her own hands and told Abram to
go and sleep with her maidservant; perhaps she can build a family through her.  Thus Abram's first son, Ishmael was

TODAY'S QUIZ: Who visited Abraham to tell him that Sarah was going to have a child?
Wed- Jonesburg Nursing Home worship 10:30; Choir 7
Thurs- Karate 5pm; Praise Band practice 6pm
Sat- Men's breakfast 8am; Worship 5pm
Sun- Worship 8:30; Sunday school 9:45; Worship 11; Elder's meeting noon
Acolyte- 8:30- Devin Miller, 11- George Pezold
Ushers- Dave Winter, Gary Scott, Larry Schulze, Scott Schulze
Altar- Set up- Marilyn Foster and Sue Ruhl; Clean Up- Joanne Hachtel
Communion Assistants- Sat- Jim Rahn; 8:30- Rich Talbert; 11- Steve McDowell
Greeters- 8:30- Erv Yoder  11- Robines
Lay readers- Sat- Jim Rahn; 8:30- Steve McDowell; 11- Kailyn Blechle
Sat Pianist- Kathy Barrow
Menu:  Pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage
Bible Study-  What does the Bible say about homosexuality and how should we as Christians deal with issues concerning it?
Please let me know if you are coming and invite friends and your sons/grandsons
Just because the Christmas program is over doesn't mean that Sunday school is. 
Parents, please be faithful in getting your kids to Sunday school!  It is very important that they grow in their faith on an ongoing basis!  Plus our Sunday school teachers really want to see them and teach them all about God!

We began our study of the book of Acts Sunday!  Now's the time to get back into Bible study!  Please consider coming and being a part of it.  
Some of you still need to pick up your offering envelopes.  Please get to church and do so ASAP! 

All voting members (men or women) are eligible.  In order for our congregation to have a complete voice we need to have complete representation!  Please call me or reply to this email if you would like to serve your church in this way!!
For LISA PEZOLD AND HER FAMILY as Lisa's dad passed away yesterday.

For CLAIRE JOHNSON who is recovering from a bad car accident at SSM Rehab/Nursing home in Wentzville.
For DANIELLE MEINE, a high school senior and friend to many in the congregation, who is dealing with cancer.
For TODD PONDER, former band teacher/director and friend to many at St. John's, who suffered a massive stroke and can't do anything but move his eyes.  He is unable to breathe on his own. Here is a link to a fund that was started to help the family as they will have astronomical hospital and rehab bills for a long time to come.   At the bottom of the page it also has updates as to his progress.  http://www.gofundme.com/hp1ed8?pc=mb_em

For OUR CONTINUED FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND SPEECH in the United States, that we would continue to be able to freely speak the truth even in the face of opposition.

For our NATION'S MILITARY LEADERS AND SOLDIERS as they figure out what to do about the imminent threats from ISIS.
For MILLIONS OF CHRISTIANS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, who are being persecuted to the point of death for their faith.

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