December 7, 2017
for Sunday, Dec. 10
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Advent is a season of expectation, the word itself meaning “coming.” Many families spend these four weeks waiting for children to come home from college, or for grandparents to come for Christmas dinner. For young children, these days of waiting can seem like a thousand years. Others are amazed at how quickly time is flying, as they sense the end of their own lives drawing near. In the interval, stories from the past are told and retold as a way of remembering the significance of these waiting days.
The “arrival” scripture speaks of is both more profound and more sublime. It is the coming end of a way of being that has seemed like exile, like imprisonment. It is salvation from all that has torn us and our world apart. As we wait alongside the readers of Mark’s gospel, we too hear voices from the past in the prophetic words of Isaiah (and Malachi and Exodus) that prepare us to receive the one who is coming into the world: Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Mark 1:1).
The Gospel of Mark begins the proclamation of Jesus not with any infancy narratives, but rather with the preaching of John the Baptist, whom Mark sees as the one Isaiah and Malachi had described. By these baptisms in the Jordan, Mark connects Jesus with the ancient Israelites entering the Promised Land via the Jordan River. John’s attire likens him to the prophet Elijah (2 Kings 1:8), whom Jews expected to return before the Messiah came, and he eats the kosher food of the wilderness (Lev. 11:5).
By connecting John the Baptist with Elijah, Isaiah, Malachi, and the Jordan, Mark introduces Jesus as the culmination of Jewish tradition. This reading exemplifies the reason that Christians have continued to proclaim the Old Testament, without which countless New Testament references make no sense. So John the Baptist is not a crazed wild man but, like the prophets of old, is the mouthpiece of God. The Christ who came, who comes, and who will come brings God’s Holy Spirit to us.
Sundays & Seasons
1The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
3the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’ ”
4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
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.
***The Christmas Eve worship service at St. Timothy will be held at 4:00 pm.
*** Fran Ward will be out of the church office December 12 and 14.
***The deadline nears! Help support the Honduras Promise Children by ordering your cookies now – deadline is Monday, December 11th! For a $12.00 suggested donation, you will receive two dozen delicious cookies handmade with love. Order forms available from the church narthex table or contact Sarah Goebel at 716-450-2986 or email@example.com
*** Healthy Bones Exercise Class will be on hiatus for the holidays. The next session is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 8th at 9:00 am.
***St. Timothy’s will be collecting mittens, gloves, scarves and hats for those in need. Place your donations on the white stick tree on the table in the narthex.
***500th anniversary commemoration recordings On Oct. 31, Lutherans around the world commem
orated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. “Looking Back & Called Forward” featured speakers and a worship service at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. View the recording at ELCA.org/livestream.ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton also preached at a worship service on Reformation Sunday at the Washington National Cathedral. A recording of this festive worship service can be viewed at metrodcELCA.org/livestream/.
***Rick Steves on the Reformation In honor of the 500th
anniversary, guidebook author and travel TV host Rick Steves, an ELCA member, produced a special about the Reformation and Martin Luther. Filmed on location around Europe, this one-hour special showcases key sites and tells the incredible story of how our modern church was born.
***The Choir will be singing at Lutheran’s Chapel on Thursday, December 22nd from 6:00-7:00 pm. All are welcome to come and join in.
***Mark your calendar: The annual Congregational Meeting will be held Sunday, January 21, 2018 immediately following worship. A light lunch will be provided. All members of the congregation are encouraged to attend.
Committee heads are asked to turn in their annual reports to the office by Dec. 24th. (Electronic reports emailed to the church office, firstname.lastname@example.org are appreciated.)
· 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 Pastor Ivy Gauvin, Adam Hull, Trudi Fetzner, Pastor Tara Eastman, Ronald Amaral, Bryan Brown, Zachary Stewart, Gregg Davis, Al Lamb, Arden Johnson, Todd Reel, Helen Cogliano, Joanne Aron, JoLynn Stearns, Scott Stearns, Zachary Frazier, Matt Isaacson and Thom Shagla.
· For people serving in the military and their families, those caught up in war who have no safe home in which to live.
· For all children, that the love of Christ may reach them through all of us who have resources to love, protect, pray and provide for them.