January 12, 2017
for Sunday, January 15
This passage from John’s gospel is all about revealing Jesus to others. First, John the Baptist, shows his disciples who Jesus is. This was John’s cousin. He did not say, “Look. Here’s my cousin Jesus.” John was able to have a supernatural revelation of Jesus’ greater identity. Then, John told the story of how he knew Jesus was the Lamb of God.
The next day was even more amazing. John told two of his disciples who Jesus was and they left John to follow Jesus! That was quite a risk that John took, but John knew who he was and what his own role was to be.
Something else that’s interesting and an earmark of Jesus’ ministry is his answer to John’s disciples about where he was staying. Jesus said, “Come and see.” Jesus never really gives what seems to be a straight answer. Come and see is a really great answer if we are looking for those who would follow Jesus.
There’s a lot we can learn from this passage. Like John, let’s point people to Jesus. We just need to be willing to share our faith stories with others. Like Jesus, let’s issue the invitation to, “Come and see.” Then see how those new disciples of Jesus shared with their friends to make more disciples.
We sometimes think we don’t know enough to evangelize. Evangelism is simply sharing the good news with others of what God has done in our lives.
29[John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!30This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.” 35The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” 37The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
- for our community of faith as we seek to do God’s work in the world;
- for those in our congregation and community who suffer silently with illness, financial burdens, and family obligation
-for victims of violence and their families in all places.
- for Grace Wakefield, Al Lamb, Eleanor Burgeson Orman, Bob Samuelson, Arden Johnson, Ralph Prieur, Bill Reel, Todd Reel, Helen Cogliano, Joanne Aron, JoLynn Stearns, Scott Stearns, Zachary Frazier, Maj-Britt Traynor, Matt Isaacson, Sandra Kelderhouse and Thom Shagla
- for the children and families of Honduras and other Central American countries that they might be restored to safety.
Names will remain of the Prayer List for a month - at which
time it will be taken off unless, or course, there is still a continued need
for our prayers and we’re asked to keep the name on.
***2016 Offering Statements are available to be picked up from box on the table in the narthex.
***Snow Shoveling: The Property Committee is still seeking volunteers to shovel both church entrances early Sunday mornings. If you are able to help, please put your name on the sign-up sheet in the church narthex. THANK YOU!
***St. Timothy’s is continuing to collect mittens, gloves, scarves and hats for those in need. Place your donations on the white stick tree on the table in the narthex.
*** Healthy Bones Exercise Class resumed on Monday, January 9th at 9:00 am and once again meets each Monday and Wednesday from 9:00-10:15 am. Anyone is welcome to join this low-impact, bone-strengthening class, suitable for both men and women.
***From Living Lutheran
Happy New Year!
From the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Elizabeth A. Eaton
January 3, 2017
Ah, a new year! It opens up before us with infinite possibilities like brand new notebooks at the beginning of the school year or the beginning of football season in Cleveland—everyone has a 4.0, everyone is undefeated!
At the turn of the new year it seems possible to slough off the failures and disappointments of the past, leave one’s old self behind and start a new life. In this glow we begin to make all kinds of resolutions, not just for the amendment of our lives but for the perfection of our future. It’s a wonderful space of hope and potential. It’s also ephemeral—morning dawns on Jan. 2.
We are strange creatures—bounded and finite, yet aware of the infinite; marked by brokenness, yet with the memory of Eden. I think this tension becomes more acute at nodal times: the beginning of a new year, venture or relationship, the move to a new place or a new stage in life. We know, as the psalmist wrote: “Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5).
And we know that we are not quite right “… since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This is a very Lutheran understanding of the human condition. We know we are simultaneously saint and sinner. It’s when we deny this truth or when we believe that we can fix the sinner and become the saint all by ourselves that we get into trouble. Our efforts for perfection bring frustration and real pain to ourselves and to others. The demands we place on ourselves to get our lives together, especially when can’t quite bring it off, lead to despair or at least to fatalism. Or, believing that we have got it all together, we can fall into the trap of self-righteousness.
Here is where the great gift of grace, especially as it comes to us in baptism, helps us make sense of our lives and resolves the stress of New Year’s resolutions—it acknowledges that we are broken and does away with the false hope or the intolerable burden of our being able to make ourselves right. “It brings about forgiveness of sins, redeems from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all those who believe it, as the words and promise of God declare” (Small Catechism).
And it joins us to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).
We have already died the only death that really matters—we have died to sin and its consequence, death. We are a kind of walking dead—with all of popular culture’s fascination with zombies, we may have found ourselves a niche!
New Year’s resolutions can be a burden because, except for the most disciplined among us, it’s a good bet we will make the same resolutions next year. The old creature is to be drowned daily but, as theologian Karl Barth once wrote, “the old creature is drowned in baptism but is a good underwater swimmer.”
Here is where it is necessary to hear Paul’s letter to the Romans—“all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”—not as final, nor as a bludgeon to get people to fall into line, but as the truth.
The very next thing Paul wrote is: “They are now justified by his grace as a gift” (Romans 3:24).
Now we have the possibility of daily repentance because we have been given the gift of new life. Now resolutions can be made and attempted, not because our life depends upon them, but because we are free. Happy New Year!