WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1ST —
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
SUNDAY, JANUARY 5TH
SECOND SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
SCRIPTURE READINGS —
THE MESSAGE (MSG)
Isaiah offers a word from the Lord to the
exiles or new returnees to their homeland
after a 39-year absence.
They knew to expect ruins upon their
return, and that is what they had found.
Isaiah prophesies to the people that the
day will come when all nations will stream
to their light, and the wealth of all nations
will come to them.
Not long after issuing the decree to set the
Judeans free to return to their homeland,
the new Persian government under Cyrus
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
rebuild it's temple. The overthrow of the
Babylonians by the Persians freed up the
people and all sorts of resources through-
out the Middle East.
Put your face in the sunlight.
God's bright glory has risen for you.
The whole earth is wrapped in darkness,
all people sunk in deep darkness,
But God rises on you,
his sunrise glory breaks over you.
Nations will come to your light,
kings to your sunburst brightness.
Look up! Look around!
Watch as they gather, watch as they
Your sons coming from great distances,
your daughters carried by their nannies.
When you see them coming you'll smile—
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!
And then streams of camel caravans as
far as the eye can see,
young camels of nomads in Midian and
Pouring in from the south from Sheba,
loaded with gold and frankincense,
preaching the praises of God.
And yes, a great roundup of flocks from
the nomads in Kedar and Nebaioth,
Welcome gifts for worship at my altar
as I bathe my glorious Temple in splendor.
PSALM 72: 1-14 (UMH 845)
THE MESSAGE (MSG)
In praise of the righteous king who would
receive tribute from all nations.
A PSALM OF SOLOMON
God, the gift of just rule to the crown
May he judge your people rightly,
be honorable to your meek and lowly.
Let the mountains give exuberant
shape the hills with the contours of
Please stand up for the poor,
help the children of the needy,
come down hard on the cruel tyrants.
Outlast the sun, outlive the moon—
age after age after age.
Be rainfall on cut grass,
earth-refreshing rain showers.
Let righteousness burst into blossom
and peace abound until the moon
fades to nothing.
Rule from sea to sea,
from the River to the Rim.
9-14 Foes will fall on their knees before
God, his enemies lick the dust.
Kings remote and legendary will pay
homage, kings rich and resplendent
will turn over their wealth.
All kings will fall down and worship,
and godless nations sign up to serve
Because he rescues the poor at the first
sign of need, the destitute who have run
out of luck.
He opens a place in his heart for the
he restores the wretched of the earth.
He frees them from tyranny and torture -
when they bleed, he bleeds;
when they die, he dies. ————————————————————
THE MESSAGE (MSG)
Paul's imprisonments have enabled the
Gentiles and their leaders to know the
mystery and receive an invitation to
become fellow heirs in Christ Jesus. Paul
never stopped evangelizing about God's
kingdom and Jesus Christ to everyone he
could, even to the point, of reaching the
whole imperial guard in Rome.
THE SECRET PLAN OF GOD
1-3 This is why I, Paul, am in jail for Christ,
having taken up the cause of you outsiders,
so-called. I take it that you're familiar with the
part I was given in God's plan for including
everybody. I got the inside story on this from
God himself, as I just wrote you in brief.
4-6 As you read over what I have written to
you, you'll be able to see for yourselves
into the mystery of Christ. 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. 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.
7-8 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.
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.
8-10 And so here I am, preaching and
writing about things that are way over my
head, the inexhaustible riches and
generosity of Christ. 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. Through followers of
Jesus like yourselves gathered in
churches, this extraordinary plan of God
is becoming known and talked about even
among the angels!
11-13 All this is proceeding along lines
planned all along by God and then
executed in Christ Jesus. When we trust
in him, we're free to say whatever needs
to be said, bold to go wherever we need
to go. So don't let my present trouble on
your behalf get you down. Be proud!
THE MESSAGE (MSG)
The Magi (Iraqi/Iranian astrologers) see a
star in the heavens that leads them on to
inquire and bring gifts for the birth of a
new king. The magi have traveled
hundreds of miles for this manifestation of
sudden revelation (Epiphany) . . . to pay
homage in the form of precious gifts of
gold, frankincense and myrrh. They later
team up with God to subvert Herod's plan
to destroy the new king they came to seek.
They are told in a dream that they must go
home by another route.
SCHOLARS FROM THE EAST
1-2 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. 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
3-4 When word of their inquiry got to
Herod, he was terrified—and not Herod
alone, but most of Jerusalem as well.
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?"
5-6 They told him, "Bethlehem, Judah
The prophet Micah wrote it plainly:
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
7-8 Herod then arranged a secret meeting
with the scholars from the East. Pretend-
ing to be as devout as they were, he got
them to tell him exactly when the birth-
announcement star appeared. 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
9-10 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. They could hardly contain
themselves: They were in the right place!
They had arrived at the right time!
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
• 1781 - Richmond, VA, was burned by a
British naval expedition led by Benedict
• 1925 - Mrs. Nellie Taylor Ross was sworn
in as the governor of Wyoming She was
the first female governor in the U.S.
• 1933 - Construction of the Golden Gate
MONDAY, JANUARY 6TH —
THE OFFICE IS CLOSED TODAY.
• 1759 - George Washington and Martha
Dandridge Custis were married.
• 1838 - Samuel Morse demonstrated his
telegraph publicly for the first time.
• 1912 - New Mexico became the 47th U.S.
• 1945 - The Battle of the Bulge ended with
130,000 German and 77,000 Allied
TUESDAY, JANUARY 7TH —
Happy Birthday Rex Noland!
• 1789 - Americans voted for the electors
that would choose George Washington to
be the first U.S. president.
• 1904 - The distress signal "CQD" was
established. Two years later "SOS"
became the radio distress signal because
it was quicker to send by wireless radio.
• 1927 - In Hinckley IL, the Harlem
Globetrotters played their first game.
• 1959 - The United States recognized
Fidel Castro's new government in Cuba.
• 1968 - The cost of a U.S. first class stamp
was raised to 6 cents.
• 1975 - OPEC raised crude oil prices 10%,
which began a time of world economic
• 1990 - The Leaning Tower of Pisa was
closed to the public. The accelerated rate
of "leaning" raised fears for the safety of
• 2010 - Apple's iPad was unveiled.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8TH —
A-C FOOD PANTRY WILL BE OPEN
FROM 5:30 P.M. TO 7:30 P.M.
• 1790 - George Washington delivered the
first State of the Union address in the
• 1815 - The Battle of New Orleans began.
The War of 1812 had officially ended on
December 24, 1814, with the signing of
the Treaty of Ghent. News of the signing
had not reached British troops in time to
prevent their attack on New Orleans.
• 1918 - U.S. President Woodrow Wilson
announced his Fourteen Points as a basis
for peace upon the end of World War I.
• 1964 - U.S. President Lyndon Johnson
declared a "War on Poverty."
• 1962 - Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa
was exhibited in America for the first time
at the National Gallery of Art in
1998 - Scientists announced that they had
discovered that galaxies were accelerating
and moving apart and at faster speeds.
• 2009 - In Egypt, archeologists entered a
4,300 year old pyramid and discovered the
mummy of Queen Sesheshet. ≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈
THURSDAY, JANUARY 9TH —
Happy Birthday Wyatt Vais!
Happy Birthday Alex Gerhards!
Happy Birthday Ralph Sheeder!
• 1793 - Jean-Pierre Blanchard made the
first successful balloon flight in the U.S.
• 1861 - The state of Mississippi seceded
from the United States.
• 1902 - New York State introduced a bill to
outlaw flirting in public.
• 1905 - In Russia, civil disturbances
known as the Revolution of 1905 forced
Czar Nicholas II to grant some civil rights.
• 1951 - The United Nations headquarters
officially opened in New York City.
• 1972 - The ocean liner Queen Elizabeth
was destroyed by fire in Hong Kong port.
• 1991 - U.S. secretary of state Baker and
Iraqi foreign minister Aziz met for 6 1/2
hours in Geneva, but failed to reach any
agreement that would forestall war in the
FRIDAY, JANUARY 10TH —
Happy Birthday Alan Beattie!
• 1861 - Florida seceded from the United
• 1920 - The League of Nations ratified the
Treaty of Versailles, officially ending World
War I with Germany.
• 1946 - The first meeting of the United
Nations General Assembly took place with
51 nations represented.
• 1971 - "Masterpiece Theater" premiered
on PBS with host Alistair Cooke. The
introduction drama series was entitled
"The First Churchills."
SATURDAY, JANUARY 11TH —
• 1569 - England's first state lottery was
• 1770 - The first shipment of rhubarb was
sent to the United States from London.
• 1805 - Michigan Territory was created.
• 1815 - U.S. General Andrew Jackson
achieved victory at the Battle of New
• 1861 - Alabama seceded from the Union.
• 1878 - In New York, milk was delivered in
glass bottles for the first time.
• 1922 - In Toronto General Hospital,
Leonard Thompson became the first
diabetic successfully treated with insulin.
FUTURE FOCUS —
SUNDAY, JANUARY 12TH —
YOUTH GROUP WILL MEET IN CASEY AT
A-C FOOD PANTRY WILL BE OPEN IN
CASEY U.M.C. - FROM 9 TO 11 A.M.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15TH —
MARTHA CIRCLE WILL MEET AT 7 P.M.
DEBORAH-MARY CIRCLE WILL MEET
AT 2 P.M.
• IMAGINE NO MALARIA - IOWA •
December 15th Bishop Trimble, and
“Imagine No Malaria-Iowa” took part in
a Simon Estes concert to fight malaria.
World renowned opera singer Simon
Estes performed with a full 1200
member choir comprised of students
from across Iowa, along with the Des
Moines Symphony Youth Orchestra at
Hilton Coliseum in Ames for his
IOWA STUDENTS CARE CHRISTMAS
“We had choral music, orchestra
music, solos by Simon Estes, we sang,
and then the whole crowd sang. Can
you imagine 5,000 people singing Hark
the Herald Angels Sing? Incredible
Raising awareness for malaria was not
just a musical event, Bishop Trimble
said. It was a Christmas concert in
every sense of the word.
The United Methodist Church has been
working in Africa for more than 160
years. The church has an operating
infrastructure of more than 300 clinics
and hospitals in Africa set up to treat
thousands of patients. The Imagine No
Malaria campaign has a goal of getting
medicines and diagnostic tests to
those hospitals and clinics, as well as
thousands of treated mosquito nets to
the outlying population.
But Nets Program was launched more
than five years ago within the U.M.C.
The new concept spread like wild fire
throughout the denomination. Led by
our youth in particular, the U.M.C. has
raised more than $9 million to send life-
saving insecticide treated mosquito
nets to Africa and join the global fight to
prevent deaths from malaria.
The United Methodist Church works
on this project in conjunction with
partners of a religious and secular
nature. Some partners include the
World Health Organization, the United
Nations Foundation, and the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation, among
Happy New Year to All!
God Bless and Keep You,