Monday, December 23, 2013





9 A.M. TO 11 A.M.


First Sunday After Christmas Day


Happy Birthday Dorothy Dillinger!
Happy Birthday Randy Carney!
Happy Birthday Jason Hall!


ISAIAH 63:7-9
Thanksgiving for God's salvation.
(In context, deliverance from exile).
The readings for this first Sunday after
Christmas focus on the shadow of the
Incarnation, the painful side of the
mystery of God with us in Jesus Christ.
I'll make a list of God's gracious
   all the things God has done that need
All the generous bounties of God,
   his great goodness to the family of
Compassion lavished,
   love extravagant.
He said, "Without question these are my
   children who would never betray me."
So he became their Savior.
   In all their troubles,
   he was troubled, too.
He didn't send someone else to help them.
   He did it himself, in person.
Out of his own love and pity
   he redeemed them.
He rescued them and carried them along
   for a long, long time.
PSALM 148   (UMH 861)

Hallelujah! Praise God from heaven,
      praise him from the mountaintops;       

   Praise him, all you his angels,     

      praise him, all you his warriors,    

   Praise him, sun and moon,       

      praise him, you morning stars;  

   Praise him, high heaven,
      praise him, heavenly rain clouds;
   Praise, oh let them praise the name of
      he spoke the word, and there they

6 He set them all in place
      from all time to eternity;
   He gave his orders,
      and that's it!

7-12 Praise God from earth,
      you sea dragons, you fathomless
      ocean deeps;
   Fire and hail, snow and ice,
      hurricanes obeying his orders;
   Mountains and all hills,
      apple orchards and cedar forests;
   Wild beasts and herds of cattle,
      snakes, and birds in flight;
   Earth's kings and all races,
      leaders and important people,
   Robust men and women in their prime,
      and yes, graybeards and little children.

13-14  Let them praise the name of God—
      it's the only Name worth praising.
   His radiance exceeds anything in earth
      and sky;
      he's built a monument—his very own

   Praise from all who love God!
      Israel's children, intimate friends of
HEBREWS 2:10-18
Scholars consider this writing to be more
polished and eloquent than any other book
of the New Testament.  It was written for a
mixed audience of Jewish and Gentile
Christians who lived in Rome and perhaps
Jerusalem.  Its purpose was to encourage
Christians to persevere in the face of all
Jesus is made perfect, Hebrews reminds,
not as a “perfect, innocent little baby” but
rather through all that he suffered. It was
through suffering with us that he could
become for us a merciful high priest. It is
through dying as one of us that he could
conquer death and Satan. It was through
all of that, and only through that, that he
could make atonement for our sins.

It makes good sense that the God
who got everything started and keeps
everything going now completes the work
by making the Salvation Pioneer perfect
through suffering as he leads all these
people to glory. Since the One who saves
and those who are saved have a common
origin, Jesus doesn't hesitate to treat them
as family, saying,
  I'll tell my good friends, my brothers and
      sisters, all I know about you;
  I'll join them in worship and praise to you.
Again, he puts himself in the same family
      circle when he says,
   Even I live by placing my trust in God.
And yet again,
   I'm here with the children God gave me.

14-15 Since the children are made of flesh
and blood, it's logical that the Savior took
on flesh and blood in order to rescue them
by his death. By embracing death, taking
it into himself, he destroyed the Devil's
hold on death and freed all who cower
through life, scared to death of death.

16-18 It's obvious, of course, that he didn't
go to all this trouble for angels. It was for
people like us, children of Abraham. That's
why he had to enter into every detail of
human life. Then, when he came before
God as high priest to get rid of the
people's sins, he would have already
experienced it all himself—all the pain, all
the testing—and would be able to help
where help was needed.
MATTHEW 2:13-23
The reading from Matthew today reveals
the painful cost to families with infants
and young children (toddlers) in the region
around Bethlehem. Matthew’s telling of the
story does not dodge the pain. He leads us
squarely into it. He reminds us of a lament
song from the days of the exile and the
genocidal slaughters that accompanied it.
After the scholars were gone, God's
angel showed up again in Joseph's dream
and commanded, "Get up. Take the child
and his mother and flee to Egypt. Stay
until further notice. Herod is on the hunt
for this child, and wants to kill him."    
14-15 Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the
child and his mother under cover of
darkness. They were out of town and well
on their way by daylight. They lived in
Egypt until Herod's death. This Egyptian
exile fulfilled what Hosea had preached: "I
called my son out of Egypt."

16-18 Herod, when he realized that the
scholars had tricked him, flew into a rage.
He commanded the murder of every little
boy two years old and under who lived in
Bethlehem and its surrounding hills.     
(He determined that age from information
he'd gotten from the scholars.) That's
when Jeremiah's sermon was fulfilled:

    A sound was heard in Ramah,
         weeping and much lament.
    Rachel weeping for her children,
         Rachel refusing all solace,
    Her children gone,
         dead and buried.

19-20 Later, when Herod died, God's angel
appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt:
"Up, take the child and his mother and
return to Israel. All those out to murder the
child are dead."

21-23 Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the
child and his mother, and reentered Israel.
When he heard, though, that Archelaus
had succeeded his father, Herod, as king
in Judea, he was afraid to go there. But
then Joseph was directed in a dream to go
to the hills of Galilee. On arrival, he settled
in the village of Nazareth. This move was a
fulfillment of the prophetic words,
"He shall be called a Nazarene." 
• 1170 - St. Thomas à Becket, the 40th
archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered
in his own cathedral by four knights acting
on King Henry II's orders.
• 1812 - The USS Constitution won a battle
with the British ship HMS Java about 30
miles off the coast of Brazil. Before
Commodore William Bainbridge ordered
the sinking of the Java he had her wheel
removed to replace the one that the
Constitution had lost during the battle.
• 1813 - The British burned Buffalo, NY,
during the War of 1812.
• 1845 - U.S. President James Polk signed
legislation making Texas the 28th state of
the United States.
• 1851 - The first American Young Men's
Christian Association (YMCA) was
organized, in Boston, Massachusetts.
• 1890 - The U.S. Seventh Cavalry killed
over 400 men, women and children at
Wounded Knee Creek, SD. This was the
last major conflict between Indians and
United States troops.
• 1940 - During World War II, Germany
began dropping incendiary bombs on
• 1949 - KC2XAK of Bridgeport, was the
first ultra high frequency (UHF) television
station to operate on a constant daily
• 1997 - Hong Kong began killing their
population of 1.25 million chickens, fearing
the spread of 'bird flu'.  

• 1853 - The United States bought about
45,000 square miles of land from Mexico in
a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase.
• 1887 - A petition to Queen Victoria with
one million names of women appealing for
public houses to be closed on Sundays
was handed to the British Home Secretary.
• 1903 - About 600 people died when fire
broke out at the Iroquois Theater in
Chicago, Illinois.
• 1922 - The Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics (USSR) was formed.  It was
dissolved in 1991.
• 1936 - The United Auto Workers union
staged its first strike, at the Fisher Body
Plant in Flint, Michigan. 
• 1940 - California's first freeway was
opened connecting Los Angeles and
• 1953 - The first color TV sets went on sale
for about $1,175.
• 1993 - Israel and the Vatican established
diplomatic relations.
• 1996 - About 250,000 striking workers
shut down vital services across Israel in
protests against budget cuts proposed by
Prime Minister Netanyahu. 
Happy Anniversary Ray and Sara Young!
• 1687 - The first Huguenots set sail from
France for the Cape of Good Hope, where
they would later create the South African
wine industry with the vines they took with
them on the voyage.
• 1695 - A window tax was imposed in
England, which resulted in many windows
being bricked up.
• 1862 - U.S. President Lincoln signed an
act admitting West Virginia to the Union.
• 1879 - Thomas Edison gave his first
public demonstration of incandescent
lighting to an audience in Menlo Park, NJ.   
• 1891 - New York's Immigration Depot was
opened at Ellis Island, to provide improved
facilities for massive numbers of arrivals.
• 1897 - Brooklyn, NY, became part of New
York City.
• 1946 - U.S. President Truman officially
proclaimed the end of hostilities in World
War II.
• 1961 - In the U.S., the Marshall Plan
expired after distributing more than $12
billion in foreign aid.
• 1999 - Sarah Knauss died at the age of
119 years. She was the world's oldest
person. She was born September 24, 1880. 

Happy Birthday Devin Hunter!
Happy Birthday Steven Sheeder!
• 0404 - The last gladiator competition was
held in Rome.
• 1622 - The Papal Chancery chose January
1st as the beginning of the New Year,
instead of March 25th.
• 1804 - Haiti gained its independence. It
was the first independent nation of Latin
America and the Caribbean; the only nation
in the world estabished as a result of a
successful slave revolt.
• 1808 - The U.S. prohibited import of slaves
from Africa. British North America practiced
slave trade from the early 1600's.  Internal
slave-trading was continued, and the slave
population eventually peaked at four million
before abolition was declared.
• 1863 - U.S. President Lincoln signed the
Emancipation Proclamation, which
declared that all slaves in rebel states free.
• 1909 - The first old-age pensions were
paid in Britain. People over 70 received
five shillings a week.
• 1934 - Alcatraz Island officially became a
Federal Prison.
• 1942 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt and
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
issued a declaration called the "United
Nations." It was signed by 26 countries that
vowed to create an international postwar
World War II peacekeeping organization.
• 1945 - France was admitted to the United
• 1999 - In California, a law went into effect
that defined "invasion of privacy as
trespassing with the intent to capture audio
or video images of a celebrity or a crime
victim engaging in personal family activity." 
THURSDAY, JANUARY 2ND ————————————————————
• 1492 - The leader of the last Arab strong
hold in Spain surrendered to Spanish
forces loyal to King Ferdinand II and
Queen Isabella I.
• 1788 - Georgia became the 4th state to
ratify the U.S. Constitution.
• 1872 - Brigham Young, the 71-year-old
leader of the Mormon Church, was
arrested on a charge of bigamy.
He had 25 wives.
• 1879 - Thomas Edison commenced
construction on his first generator.
• 1890 - Alice Sanger became the first
female White House staff person.
• 1900 - U.S. Secretary of State John Hay
announced the Open Door Policy designed
to induce trade with China.
• 1929 - The United States and Canada
reached an agreement on joint action to
preserve Niagara Falls.    
• 1991 - Sharon Pratt Dixon was sworn in
as mayor of Washington, DC. She was the
first black woman to head a city of that size
and prominence.
Happy Birthday Sadie Peterson!
• 1496 - References in Leonardo da Vinci
notebooks suggested that he tested his
flying machine today. The test did not
succeed and he didn't try to fly again for
several years.
• 1521 - Pope Leo X excommunicated
Martin Luther.
• 1777 - The Battle of Princeton took place
today in the War of Independence.  George
Washington defeated the British forces,
led by Cornwallis.
• 1823 - Stephen F. Austin received a grant
from the Mexican government and began
colonization in the Brazos River region in
• 1833 - England seized control of the
Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.
150 years later, Argentina seized these
islands from the British, but Britain took
them back after a 74-day war.
• 1888 - The drinking straw was patented
by Marvin C. Stone.
• 1924 - English explorer Howard Carter
discovered the burial site of Tutankhamen
in the Valley of the Kings, close to Luxor,
• 1925 - In Italy, Mussolini announced that
he would take over dictatorial powers.
• 1959 - In the U.S., Alaska became the
49th state.
• 1961 - The United States severed all
diplomatic relations with Cuba.
• 1995 - WHO reported that the cumulative
total of officially reported cases of AIDS
had risen to 1,025,073 in 192 countries as
of the end of 1994.   
Happy Birthday Pam Fisher!
Happy Birthday Darla Cline!
• 1821 - The first native-born American
saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, died in
Emmitsburg, Maryland.
• 1885 - Dr. William Grant performed the
first successful appendectomy. The
patient was Mary Gartside.
• 1896 - Utah became the 45th U.S. state.
• 1948 - Britain granted independence to
• 1962 - New York City introduced a train
that operated without conductors and

God Bless and Keep You This Christmas 

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