Believe the Good News | Make Disciples

3rd Sunday after Epiphany | January 24, 2021

Jonah 3:1-5, 10 • Psalm 62:5-12 • 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 • Mark 1:14-20

Mark 1:14-20 | New Living Translation

Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him.

A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.

Prayer for the Week

THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EPIPHANY

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for the Week

Second Sunday after Epiphany

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Insignificant or Significant?

2nd Sunday after Epiphany | January 27, 2021

1 Samuel 3:1-10 • Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 • 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 • John 1:43-51

John 1:43-51 | New Living Translation

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.

Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.

As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”

“How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”

Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”

Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”

Sunday Night Thoughts

Good evening and welcome to Sunday Thoughts for January 10, 2021. One of the most beautiful things happened yesterday. After weeks of what seemed like gloomy cloudy days, we awoke to blue skies and sun. In fact both yesterday and today we had sun. Each morning we woke up to temps near 12, but the beautiful blue made up for it.

Knowing that it was going to be a nice day, Pam and I took a drive. One of the things I wanted to do was take pictures of the churches that we participated with during our last 4-1/2 years. We took our Canon Rebel out and got some great pictures. We also took a little detour to Kinzua Bridge, which is a high railroad bridge that was partially taken out by a tornado in the early 2000’s. They’ve developed it into a Skywalk. It was great because there was nobody there – the first time I had experienced that. As I walked out onto the Skywalk, you could hear the crunch of the snow under your feet and even the old trestle crackled a little bit in the cold.

Following that, we watched the Buffalo Bills play the Colts. Wow! What an ending. It was good to see the Bills win in the first round of the playoffs. Since the Eagles are out this year, I’m cheering for the Bills to go all the way. We’ve adopted them – especially since they are an AFC team and not divisional rivals. I’d love to see them go all the way.

Just 8 more days – until we move. One more Sunday. It all seems surreal. By this time next week, we will be getting ready to pack the truck and move to Millsboro, DE. Several times this week I’ve had to stop and reflect for a moment. God indeed gave us great favor while we were here – in both our church and our community – yet we are looking forward to what God has in store.

This week, Pam and I also return to transporting students. It’s been a long break from in-person school, but we go back tomorrow. Plus we also need to get serious about packing the last of the house. So we need to go to Dollar General and get some boxes.

We did have a good service this morning. I led our congregation through a Covenant Renewal Service. It is always a special service and we ended with communion.

As I close, I am watching the Steelers play, but I also know I need to go to bed because morning will be here quick. So, that wraps it up. Blessings….

The Baptism of Jesus

The Baptism of Jesus | January 10, 2021

Genesis 1:1-5 • Psalm 29 • Acts 19:1-7 • Mark 1:4-11

Mark 1:4-11 | New Living Translation

This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.

John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize you with[a] water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”

One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him[b] like a dove. 11 And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

Prayer for the Week

First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of our Lord

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Epiphany

January 6, 2021

Isaiah 60:1-6 • Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 • Ephesians 3:1-12 • Matthew 2:1-12

Matthew 2:1-12 | New Living Translation

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”

King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”

“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:

‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
    are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,
for a ruler will come from you
    who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”

After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

12 When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.