Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Carthage, Missouri

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Sermon Audio — January 21, 2018

Announcements — January 21, 2018

† IN OUR PRAYERS  Earl K., recovering from shoulder surgery; Lydia N., recovering from surgery; Jack H., at home recovering; Marcella M., recovering from a fall;  Earl G., suffering various serious health issues; Lee Ann C., at home but continuing to undergo physical therapy; Jody G., on hospice; Kathy P., suffering health issues; Sara P., undergoing treatment for cancer; Stephen Ministry and their care receivers.

† OFFERING STATEMENTS  The 2017 offering statements are on the round table in the narthex.  If you need your statement mailed, please contact the church office, 358-1325.

† TUESDAY MORNING 9:30 AM BIBLE STUDY is meeting again in the church Fellowship Hall.  We are studying the book of James.  Please, come and join us.

† LYF PROGRESSIVE DINNER  The Youth Group is planning a Progressive Dinner on the evening of Sunday, January 28, but we need your help!  We are looking for families who would be willing to host 8-10 teens for each piece of the meal: Appetizers, Salad Course, Main Dish & 1-2 Sides, Dessert, Mocktails.  Each course would last about 30-45 minutes.  Please contact Libby S.  LibbyShannon2016@gmail.com if you are interested in helping and connecting with youth members.

† HEAD START ON “SOUPER” BOWL SUNDAY  Through the month of January we are asking for canned soup, dried beans and rice to help fill the shelves at Crosslines of Carthage.  Bring your donations and place them in the round container in the narthex or the shopping cart in the entry downstairs.  If you would prefer to give a monetary donation, there are envelopes on the round table in the narthex.  The envelopes can be returned to Nan B. or dropped off at the church office.  Everyone wins when we team up to help!

† SUNDAY SCHOOL OFFERING  The offering from both Adult Bible Class and Sunday School for the months of January and February will be going to LCMS World Relief to help those affected by the Hurricane in Houston.  

† LUTHERAN WITNESS SUBSCRIPTIONS  It’s about your faith, your church, your world.  A subscription cost is $15.96.  A sign up sheet is on the round table in the narthex and you can pay by simply writing a check to Good Shepherd and putting Lutheran Witness in the memo line.

† FLOWER CHART, 2018  If you would like to place flowers at the altar for a special occasion or in memory of someone, please sign the flower chart hanging on the wall next to the water fountain in the hallway.  Simply write your name, phone number, and occasion with the pen provided.  Diana E. does lovely arrangements and only charges $25.00 for altar flowers.

† NURSERY/CRY ROOM  Should your child become distressed or distract others during the service, a furnished nursery/cry room is located in the narthex for your use.  Please ask one of the ushers if you need directions.

† BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKS are available in the nurse’s office after the service.  You will be given a small form that can be carried in your wallet which will include medical information and a log of your blood pressure readings.

† PRAYER BEARS are in the sanctuary pews and available to be signed out (notebook in narthex by nursery) and given to anyone that needs God’s love,  comfort, and peace.

† ASSISTIVE LISTENING  If you are having a hard time hearing the service, assistive listening devices are available from the ushers.  They work like a transistor radio and you can control the volume.

 

Epiphany and You

Matthew 2:11 “And going into the house, [the wise men] saw the child with Mary his mother, and they
fell down and worshiped him.”

“Wise men from the east” Matthew tells us, “wise men from the east came to Jerusalem saying, ‘Where is
he who has been born king of the Jews?”’ What a thing this was. What was going through Herod’s mind
(before the murderous jealousy crept in)? How do ‘wise men’ from the east know to come here and to worship
a king? A star, that’s not much to go on. What was going through the heads of the wise men? Do you think
there was more than three to start off with but only three actually thought they should come? Was there a
whole astronomy group who regularly got together and were amazed to find this star but only one of them was
like, “Hey, this star is signifying the birth of the king of the Jews so we should travel down there to give him
gifts.” Did the other wise men look at each other and say, “Balthasar you’re crazy. We’re not traveling all that
way to give gifts to a baby because you think this new star signifies his birth.” But then Melchior says, “You
know I have some things to get from Tyre. Maybe on our way back we can swing by and get them. Sure I’ll
go.” And of course if Melchior is going, then Casper is going to go too, because they are best buds. And so
you have three wise men setting out to find a child guided by a star.

We don’t know how it happened because we are not told, but it almost certainly did not happen the way I
just described. (Please don’t make that movie.) In the context of the other events surrounding Jesus’ birth, it
would almost be normal for an angel to have appeared to them in a dream to tell them to go and worship the
new born king. Jesus’ birth was a one-time deal. It is not something that will ever happen again in the history
of the world. Perhaps God let the wise men know about it so that they could be a part of this event too.
Because Jesus, king of the Jews, did not come to save just Jews but all people, even wise men from the east
(and you and I here in the west).

Epiphany is about Jesus being made known to the nations, to all people, not just a specific people, the
Jews. For the vast majority of you who are reading this, that means that without Epiphany you don’t get a
Savior. Christmas on its own is the story of a Savior come to save His people, one small nation. But Christmas
followed by Epiphany is the story of a Savior come to the nations, a Savior who has come to you, whoever
you are. Merry Christmas and happy Epiphany!

~Pastor Mehl

Sermon Audio — January 14, 2018