Hello dear friends! Greetings from the garden isle of Kauai,Greetings from the garden isle of Kauai. I hope this finds you well.
Yesterday's worship service was lovely and I enjoyed watching the recording! Pastor Becky preached an inspiring and passionate sermon and I highly recommend watching it if you didn't worship at Zion's in person or by Zoom.
She shared a story by Tony Campolo and asked what your story is... especially your faith story. Where has God's abundance been made manifest in your life? I think that is a wonderful spiritual exercise to do this week! Write it down, tell it to a friend or family member, or a spiritual director. Pausing to see where God has been present (even if you missed it at the time) is energizing! In retrospect our eyes are open to so much more than is often perceived at the moment.
Well, that's it for now. I pray for you from afar! Blessings and may you be filled with much joy!
This week (other meetings/gatherings will be taking place as well but here are some things to note):
Sunday, January 23, 2022:
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged; for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
In prayer, we ask in His name: Comfort for those in mourning, including family and friends of: Roger Buck (Becky McNeil's uncle); Patty Thomas (Jeff Smith's cousin); Harold Karspeck (Steve's Dad); Chuck Smithey; and Betty Garcia.
We pray for and surround with God's healing touch all those impacted by the recent Boulder County fires; from recent tornadoes and storms; and for farmers and ranchers who lost so much in the recent fires and wind storms in Kansas; as well as the military and civilians around the world in harm's way -- especially those in the Emirates, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.
We also pray for Michelle Ramirez; Gregory Weida; Cindy Rodriguez; Dale Krueger; Brent Kapling; Mike Blackmore; Cora Warrick & son Tyler; Carol Schulzkump, her son Kris & daughter-in-law Ana; JoAnn's sister Beth; Steve Karspeck's sister-in-law Deena; Floyd Gumke; Wilmae & Sherry Gartside; Lisa Rygiel's parents; Loren Eigenburg; and the Sandstead family.
We surround with prayers those battling cancer, including Jeanine Tapia; Rick Barian (Lynn's friend); Rick Spaulding (Paula's brother-in-law); Gary Miller; Marci Guard; Lynn's brother, Kenny; Nancy Wilhelm (Ernie & Sharon's family member); Linda Bounds; Norine's stepdaughter Sherry; Jo Moss' cousin Virginia; Kimber Begano; Dr. Mark Jacobson; Linda Theige's brother-in-law Pastor Bob; and Francis Baldwin and Max Phillips (both friends of Mark & Jo Moss). We also pray for those affected by COVID, including Mary McKenna's grandson Jack; Pastor Clay & his wife Mary; the Pearson family; the Ramirez family; Natalie Lugan; and Loren Eigenburg's daughter, Loren.
Our prayers continue for Wal-reat (missionary in Sudan whom we support financially through Global Missions); The Way ministry; ACTS ministry; and the prison congregation New Beginnings and Pastor Schjang.
Other announcements/dates to put on your calendar:
Yesterday's worship service can be viewed by following this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/O80aFB80qawEoWrfKsTq9vIrbSgno1qga52sHk8iJwZCZYDGxIzqxDWuQ-4JM90U.xratrN7AclvlgfRz Passcode: 5B5?gDx. Pastor Becky's sermon begins at minute 21:02
We now return for much of this year to hear the gospel according to Luke. This coming Sunday we will hear that Jesus is filled with the power of the Spirit, and so are we. Come to worship!
The Readings in the Bible
Writing in the late 80s, Luke organized his stories about Jesus in a logical chronological order, and thus directly after Jesus’ temptation he teaches in the synagogue in Nazareth, his hometown. An optional aspect of Sabbath observance was attendance at a synagogue, where the Hebrew Scriptures were read and interpreted by a rabbi and the assembly sang psalms and prayed. Here the reading was from Isaiah 61:1-2, perhaps the second reading, after the Torah portion. The year of the Lord’s favor (v. 19) was the Jubilee (Lev. 25:1-17), a perhaps mythical time each fifty years when no crops were grown, all debts forgiven, all lands returned to their previous owner, and all slaves freed. Luke means to interpret the coming ministry of Jesus with the motif of liberation found in the Isaian oracle. Twice this excerpt mentions the Spirit, a strong emphasis in Luke.
The book of Nehemiah was originally one book with Ezra, taking shape perhaps about 400 bce Editing may have disrupted the order of events described. The book of Nehemiah continues the story of the Israelites’ return to Jerusalem, when the city walls were rebuilt, becoming a symbol of Jewish reestablishment of the covenant and of separation from neighboring peoples, although scholars question the historicity of, for example, the demand for Jewish men to divorce their foreign wives.”I,” the narrator, purports to be Nehemiah, a servant of the Persian king, who assumed authority in the Jerusalem community. At a religious gathering, the scribe Ezra leads worship at which the Torah scrolls, perhaps those that had been formulated and edited during the exile, are proclaimed and interpreted. Hearing the word leads to both sorrow and the joy of a shared meal.
For Paul, the risen body of Christ is found in the one body of the Christian community. Paul develops the metaphor of the human body, which must avoid weakness and disease in each of its parts, to encourage communal care for one another. Paul’s assertion that in baptism Jews and Greeks, slaves and free, are all one sounds far more reasonable to us than it would have to first-century people. The metaphor of “the body of Christ” first appears in Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians, perhaps as a response to the disunity in the Corinthian community. Hellenistic writers used this metaphor to describe social and political unity.