DEVOTION: Matthew 2:1-12 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Visit of the Wise Men
2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men[a] from the east came to Jerusalem,2 saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose[b] and have come to worship him." 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
We sure do want to add a lot more to this story don't we? There was even a cute animated movie about it this past year called "The Star". We want to give names and faces to these wise men. We want to have a certain number of them (most say there was three although I think there were many more than that. We want to fill in the details.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, Matthew doesn't do that. Instead, he does what he is supposed to do. He keeps the focus and detail on the important person in the story, namely JESUS. The story isn't about how far these magi traveled, how many there were, what they were wearing, how long they were searching. It is all about the King of the Jews! It's all about Jesus!
We want the same thing in our lives. We want God to fill in all the details. We want to have it all figured out. We want to be in charge and put the emphasis and the story on ourselves. Yet, through our troubles and struggles, our failures and missteps, God reminds us that He is the only one in charge and he is the only one with the full and complete story. We simply need to trust in him, like a little child simply trust in his mom and dad to care for him and keep him safe.
I love this story of the magi, because it tells us simply that he is King, and it shows the whole world, and even a star, testifying plainly and clearly to is. I look forward to the day when we will all see Jesus for who he really is, face to face, without a veil or a mystery but fully revealed.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for revealing who you are through these magi. Help me to keep my focus on you and to leave the details up to you so that I may live free. Amen.
Thurs- Alzheimers support 1pm; karate 6:15
Sat- worship 5pm
Sun- worship 8:30 and 11; Sunday school and adult Bible class 9:45
Acolyte- 8:30- Cameron Faerber; 11- Cierra Figura
Ushers- Alan Hofeldt, Tom Linke, Gary Hoelscher, Ben Hoelscher
Altar- Set up- Marilyn Foster; Clean Up- Pam Linke
Communion assistant- Sat- Steve Robine; 8:30-John Hachtel, 11- Dave Winter
Greeters- 8:30- Erv Yoder; 11- Dan and Lisa Rausch
Projectionists- Sat- Gus Klaustermeier; 8:30- Erv Yoder; 11- Loren Howard
Lay Readers- Sat- Marcia Sevier; 8:30- Amber Vossen 11- Addie Hoelscher
Organist- Sat and 8:30- Barb Dreyer
Pianists- 11- Molly Hendershot
YESTERDAY'S QUIZ: How long was Noah, his family and all the animals on the ark? (I'll leave this up for one more day since no one answered it yesterday.)
CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP VIDEO: Share with someone who needs to hear the good news about Jesus!
NEW YEAR'S EVE WORSHIP VIDEO: Share with someone who needs to hear the good news about Jesus!
DUE TO SOME TROUBLES WITH OUR CHURCH EMAIL ADDRESS WE HAVE HAD TO GET A NEW ONE
Our new email address is email@example.com. Please change it in your address books!!
BIBLE STUDY TASK FORCE FORMING!! PLEASE READ AND REPLY!!
It has been established by many different sources that one of the main signs of a "healthy" church is how many people are in the Bible on a regular basis. The more people are in the Scriptures, the healthier (content, active, growing) the congregation. Also, it has been noted that we can study and have our devotions at home or at work alone, but fellowship and the study of Scripture together as brothers and sisters in Christ is essential.
With this in mind, I would like to get two or three people together who are interested in helping me establish a Bible study curriculum for the congregation for 2018. Goals are the following:
- Create a list of studies of all different kinds that will fit all levels of learning and Bible knowledge (Beginner to advanced) and narrow down the list to the best for this particular time and place. Topics could range from a particular book of the Bible (Proverbs), to a theme in the Bible (Grace), to a more topical study (What does God's Word have to say about financial management), to a Bible study based on the events of the week (prayer and service).
- Get 40% or more of the congregation to attend at least one Bible study a week. Right now we are between 10 and 15% during any given week.
- Come up with a schedule of days and times that are convenient for everyone. Right now the only day we have Bible study is Sunday morning and one that meets on the third Friday evening of each month at the Hendershot's house. It would be beneficial to make at least one study available on several days throughout the week.
- Identify people who would be willing and able to lead/facilitate these group. Pastor would not be able to lead them all. Please note that leading/facilitating doesn't necessarily mean teaching. Many who are leaders of a study are learning right along with the rest of the group.
Please reply to let me know if you are interested in working on this!
INSTALLATION OF CONGREGATIONAL OFFICERS AND BOARD MEMBERS IS THIS SUNDAY!!
If you have been elected to one of our boards or are continuing as an officer of the congregation, please be in attendance at one of our worship services this weekend to be installed and prayed for as you begin this year's service to our congregation and to the Lord.
SCRIP ORDERS ARE DUE NEXT MONDAY, JANUARY 8!!
Call the office or fill out a sheet on the counter in the narthex to get your order in!!!!
2018 OFFERING ENVELOPES BEGIN THIS WEEKEND!! IF YOU HAVEN'T PICKED YYOURS UP YET PLEASE DO SO THIS WEEKEND!!
They are on the shelves below the church mailboxes in the narthex
A NEW AND EXPANDED VERSION OF LUTHER'S SMALL CATECHISM IS AVAILABLE AT A REDUCED PRICE OF $14.49!!
It is a great tool for learning and for daily meditation and devotions. Sign up to get your copy in the narthex today!
LITTLE LAMBS IS STILL SELLING CANDY BARS AND COULD USE YOUR HELP!
If you'd like to help sell a box or two of candy bars as a fundraiser for Little Lambs preschool. Let Terry or one of the preschool ladies know. They'll hook you up right quick!
SUNDAY SCHOOL MEMORY VERSE IS: "Rejoice always! Pray without ceasing! Give thanks in all circumstances! 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
DO YOU HAVE A THRIVENT FINANCIAL ACCOUNT OR POLICY?
OPERATION BACKPACK DONATIONS FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY IS CANNED FRUIT.
For ERV YODER AND HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS as they mourn the loss of his daughter, Kristine.
For BECCA WINN recovering from kidney surgery to remove kidney stones, and the complications that happened after surgery. She is at home.
For PAUL TOEDEBUSCH as he continues to recover from a sprained his ankle and broke a bone in his leg.
For LEO BADER as he recovers from hip replacement surgery.
For PEGGY TALBERT who is recovering from knee replacement surgery at home.
For GEORGE HOELSCHER, BUCK HAMPTON, DENISE HOOKER (betty Tameler's daughter) as they continue to deal with cancer.
PRAYERS FOR OUR MILITARY PERSONNEL:
For COLTON FIGURA deployed to Turkey, SAM HARGROVE deployed in Kuwait and DAN DREYER deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, that the Lord would keep them safe from harm during their service and bring them home safely.
For DAVID TATE stationed in Japan, and ALEX WALTERS, stationed in Tennessee. That God would bless their service to our country and keep them safe as they all await possible deployment.
For CALEB FIGURA AND VINCE MASTERS who are both serving our country in the National Guard and take time out of their lives, jobs, and families to go on duty several times a year.
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