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Sundays in December 2017

Worship at 11:00 and 13:30 in the Luther Church

Sunday, December 3,2017,First Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 64:1-9 ,Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 ,1 Corinthians 1:3-9 ,Mark 13:24-37 :Stir up your power, and come! The psalmist’s plea in Psalm 80:2 has become familiar to us in the Advent prayers. Isaiah wants God to rip the heavens open. Both cry out for an apparently distant, angry God to show up, to save, to restore. When we hear Jesus describing the coming of the Son of Man with stars falling from heaven, it can sound dire and horrible, not like anything we would ever hope for. But when we really look at the suffering of people God loves, we can share the hope that God would tear open the heavens and come.

Sunday, December 10, 2017,Second Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 40:1-11 ,Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 ,2 Peter 3:8-15a ,Mark 1:1-8 John appears from the wilderness. John called people to repent, to clear the decks, to completely reorder their lives so that nothing would get in the way of the Lord’s coming. The reading from Isaiah gives the context for this radical call: the assurance of forgiveness that encourages us to repent; the promise that the coming one will be gentle with the little ones. Isaiah calls us all to be heralds with John, to lift up our voices fearlessly and say, “See, your God is coming!” We say it to one another in worship, in order to say it with our lives in a world in need of justice and peace.

Sunday, December 17, 2017,Third Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11,Psalm 126,Luke 1:46b-55,1 Thessalonians 5:16-24,John 1:6-8, 19-28:“Rejoice always,” begins the reading from First Thessalonians. Isaiah and the psalmist make clear that God is turning our mourning into laughter and shouts of joy. “All God’s children got a robe,” go the words of the spiritual. It is not so much a stately, formal, pressed outfit as it is a set of party clothes, clothes that make us feel happy just to put on. We receive that robe in baptism, and in worship we gather for a foretaste of God’s party.

Sunday, December 24,2017,Fourth Sunday of Advent: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16,Luke 1:46b-55,Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26,Romans 16:25-27,Luke 1:26-38:God keeps the promise made to David, to give him an everlasting throne. The angel tells Mary that God will give David’s throne to her son Jesus. She is perplexed by Gabriel’s greeting and by the news of her coming pregnancy, but she is able still to say, “Count me in.” We who know that Jesus is called king only as he is executed still find it a mystery hard to fathom, but with Mary today we hear the news of what God is up to and say, “Count us in.”

Sunday, December 31,2017,First Sunday of Christmas: Isaiah 61:10--62:3,Psalm 148,Galatians 4:4-7,Luke 2:22-40.In the psalm all the natural world praises God, including all humanity, male and female, young and old. The voices of Simeon and 84-year-old Anna join the chorus today, recognizing what God is doing in Jesus. Simeon’s song is often sung after communion, for we have seen God’s salvation in the assembled community and have held Jesus in our hands in the bread. Then, like the prophet Anna, we speak of Jesus to all who look for the healing of the world.

 Sundays in January 2018

Worship at 11:00 and 13:30 in the Luther Church

Sunday,January7,2018,Baptism of Our Lord: Genesis 1:1-5 ,Psalm 29,Acts 19:1-7,Mark 1:4-11:Our re-creation in baptism is an image of the Genesis creation, where the Spirit/wind moved over the waters. Both Mark’s gospel and the story in Acts make clear that it is the Spirit’s movement that distinguishes Jesus’ baptism from John’s. The Spirit has come upon us as upon Jesus and the Ephesians, calling us God’s beloved children and setting us on Jesus’ mission to re-create the world in the image of God’s vision of justice and peace.

Sunday,January14,2018,Second Sunday after Epiphany: 1 Samuel 3:1-10 [11-20],Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18,1 Corinthians 6:12-20,John 1:43-51:All the baptized have a calling in God’s world. God calls not just the clergy but also the youngest child, like Samuel. The story of the calling of Nathanael plays with the idea of place. Nathanael initially dismisses Jesus because he comes from Nazareth. But where we come from isn’t important; it’s where—or rather whom—we come to. Jesus refers to the story of the vision of Jacob, who called the place of his vision “the house of God, and . . . the gate of heaven” (Gen. 28:17). Jesus says he himself is the place where Nathanael will meet God.

Sunday,January21,2018,Third Sunday after Epiphany: Jonah 3:1-5, 10,Psalm 62:5-12,1 Corinthians 7:29-31,Mark 1:14-20:Stories of the call to discipleship continue as the Time after Epiphany plays out the implications of our baptismal calling to show Christ to the world. Jesus begins proclaiming the good news and calling people to repentance right after John the Baptist is arrested for preaching in a similar way. Knowing that John was later executed, we see at the very outset the cost of discipleship. Still, the two sets of fisherman brothers leave everything they have known and worked for all their lives to follow Jesus and fish for people.

Sunday,January28,2018,Fourth Sunday after Epiphany: Deuteronomy 18:15-20,Psalm 111,1 Corinthians 8:1-13,Mark 1:21-28:In Deuteronomy God promises to raise up a prophet like Moses, who will speak for God; in Psalm 111 God shows the people the power of God’s works. For the church these are ways of pointing to the unique authority people sensed in Jesus’ actions and words. We encounter that authority in God’s word, around which we gather, the word that trumps any lesser spirit that would claim power over us, freeing us to follow Jesus.

 

From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2015 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Sunday Fellowship

All are welcome to stay following our Sunday worship to enjoy a beverage and refreshments. We can only offer this, however, when

  1. we have coffee, tea, or other beverages to serve, and
  2. when someone signs up to host

Please consider helping with supplying coffee, tea or other beverages. Just bring it to church with you or make a donation to that purpose. The host for that Sunday will gladly accept your donation.

Thank you for your generosity as we live lives of service to our neighbor.

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