WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY, DEC. 29TH, 30TH -
NAOMI WILL BE IN THE OFFICE FROM 9 TIL NOON.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 31ST —
NEW YEARS EVE. THE OFFICE IS CLOSED TODAY.• • • Remember to celebrate responsibly this
evening! Everybody wants to go to Heaven,
but we don't want you goin' right now.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 1ST — NEW YEARS DAY≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈
SUNDAY, JANUARY 2ND —
Today is the celebration of Feast of the Epiphany,
the "appearance" or "manifestation" of God with
us to the nations.
It is the first Sunday of the new calendar year.
A series of "Sundays after the Epiphany" begins
COLOR: WHITE or GOLD
HOLY COMMUNION TODAY.OUR SCRIPTURE READINGS ARE:
Isaiah offers a word from the Lord to exiles or
new returnees to their homeland after at least
a 39-year absence. They expected ruins on
their return, and that is what they had found.
Isaiah describes God ending the exile and
bringing restoration to the people. After issuing
the decree to set the Judeans free to return to
their homeland, the new Persian government
under Cyrus also sent orders to have supplies,
building materials and all of the gold and silver
vessels that had been carried away sent back to
Jerusalem to rebuild the city and its temple
(See Ezra 1-6). He prophesies that the day will come when
all nations stream to their light.
1 "Get out of bed, Jerusalem! Wake up. Put your
face in the sunlight. God's bright glory has risen
2 The whole earth is wrapped in darkness, all
people sunk in deep darkness, But God rises on
you, his sunrise glory breaks over you.
3 Nations will come to your light, kings to your
4 Look up! Look around! Watch as they gather,
watch as they approach you: Your sons coming
from great distances, your daughters carried by
5 When you see them coming you'll smile - big
smiles! Your heart will swell and, yes, burst! All
those people returning by sea for the reunion, a
rich harvest of exiles gathered in from the nations!
6 And then streams of camel caravans as far as
the eye can see, young camels of nomads in Midianand Ephah, Pouring in from the south from Sheba,
loaded with gold and frankincense, preaching the
praises of God.
PSALM 72:1-7, 10-14 (UMH 795)
In praise of the righteous king who would receive
tribute from all nations.
1 Give the gift of wise rule to the king, O God, the gift
of just rule to the crown prince.
2 May he judge your people rightly, be honorable to
your meek and lowly.
3 Let the mountains give exuberant witness; shape
the hills with the contours of right living.4 Please stand up for the poor, help the children of
the needy, come down hard on the cruel tyrants.
5 Outlast the sun, outlive the moon - age after age
6 Be rainfall on cut grass, earth-refreshing rain showers.
7 Let righteousness burst into blossom and peace
abound until the moon fades to nothing.
8 Rule from sea to sea, from the River to the Rim.
9 Foes will fall on their knees before God, his enemies
lick the dust.
10 Kings remote and legendary will pay homage, kings
rich and resplendent will turn over their wealth.
11 All kings will fall down and worship, and godless
nations sign up to serve him,
12 Because he rescues the poor at the first sign of need,
the destitute who have run out of luck.
13 He opens a place in his heart for the down-and-out,
he restores the wretched of the earth.
14 He frees them from tyranny and torture - when they
bleed, he bleeds; when they die, he dies.
Ephesians shows God acting not only on behalf
of the people of Israel, but the whole world, in the
appearance of Jesus Christ. Evangelism is what
got Paul locked away. Even while locked away,
Paul never stopped evangelizing about God's
kingdom and Jesus Christ to everyone he could.
Paul writes that his imprisonments have enabled
the Gentiles and their leaders to know the mystery;
they are invited to be fellow heirs in Christ Jesus.
1 This is why I, Paul, am in jail for Christ, having taken
up the cause of you outsiders, so-called.2 I take it that you're familiar with the part I was given
in God's plan for including everybody.
3 I got the inside story on this from God himself, as
I just wrote you in brief.
4 As you read over what I have written to you, you'll
be able to see for yourselves into the mystery of Christ.
5 None of our ancestors understood this. Only in our
time has it been made clear by God's Spirit through
his holy apostles and prophets of this new order.
6 The mystery is that people who have never heard
of God and those who have heard of him all their lives
(what I've been calling outsiders and insiders) stand
on the same ground before God. They get the same
offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The
Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone,
across the board.
7 This is my life work: helping people understand and
respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me,
a real surprise, God handling all the details.
8 When it came to presenting the Message to people
who had no background in God's way, I was the least
qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to
it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had
nothing to do with my natural abilities.
9 My task is to bring out in the open and make plain
what God, who created all this in the first place, has
been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along.
10 Through Christians like yourselves gathered in
churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming
known and talked about even among the angels!
11 All this is proceeding along lines planned all along
by God and then executed in Christ Jesus.
12 When we trust in him, we're free to say whatever
needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go.
Matthew shows God acting on behalf of the whole
world, in the appearance of Jesus Christ. Matthew
tells of the visit of the Magi, three kings, their gifts,
and how they cooperated with God to subvert
Herod's plan. The Magi were descendants of the
Babylonians, the very people who carried the
people of Judah into exile. When word about God
entering history to bring salvation gets out, no
part of the world is unaffected.
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah
territory - this was during Herod's kingship - a band
of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East.
2 They asked around, "Where can we find and pay
homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We
observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his
birth. We're on pilgrimage to worship him."
3 When word of their inquiry got to Herod, he was
terrified - and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem
as well.4 Herod lost no time. He gathered all the high priests
and religion scholars in the city together and asked,
"Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?"
5 They told him, "Bethlehem, Judah territory. The
prophet Micah wrote it plainly:
6 It's you, Bethlehem, in Judah's land, no longer
bringing up the rear. From you will come the leader
who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel."
7 Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the
scholars from the East. Pretending to be as devout
as they were, he got them to tell him exactly when
he birth-announcement star appeared.
8 Then he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem,
and said, "Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned.
As soon as you find him, send word and I'll join you at
once in your worship."
9 Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star
appeared again, the same star they had seen in the
eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the
place of the child.
10 They could hardly contain themselves: They were
in the right place! They had arrived at the right time!
11 They entered the house and saw the child in the
arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled
and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage
and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh.12 In a dream, they were warned not to report back
to Herod. So they worked out another route, left the
territory without being seen, and returned to their own
MONDAY, JANUARY 3RD —
OFFICE CLOSED TODAY.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 4TH —
ADAIR MORNING BIBLE STUDY, 9-11 A.M.≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5TH —
ABC AD COUNCIL IN CASEY U.M.C. - AT 6:30 P.M.
It's been a good year and I thank you for pulling the
wagon so conscientiously. We had a few bumps, but
that's how life is. The outlook can change from fright
to bright over night! It has been a pleasure working
with you this year . . . now rest up for 2011.
God bless and keep you,