Posts

Showing posts from September, 2015

The humility of a child

Image
Mark 9:30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise." 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it. 33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?" 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. 35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." 36 He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me." We don’t know her na…

Worship Helps for Pentecost 19

Image
Worship Theme: Sinners sin. We all sin. But we cannot excuse our sin because we act like others. Sin requires radical surgery. Jesus says: “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off” (Mark 9:43). The good news is that Jesus was “cut off” from his own Father through his death on the cross, in order to reunite us with God and with one another. As his servants we are the “salt” of the earth, standing out as we show allegiance to Jesus and the gospel.
Old Testament:Numbers 11:16, 24-29 The LORD said to Moses: "Bring me seventy of Israel's elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you. … 24 So Moses went out and told the people what the LORD had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tent. 25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spi…

Servant Leadership

Image
A great deal has been written about the subject of “servant leadership.”  Jesus said that His followers will not pattern themselves after the world’s forms of leadership, which too often involve domineering and the reliance on compulsion to get their way.  Dictators rise to power because the world respects their ability to get things done, without questioning the leader’s methods.  Successful executives climb the corporate ladder, they say, on the backs of others, and are applauded for their effectiveness.
In these verses, Jesus describes servant discipleship – not only in matters of leadership but every way in which we follow Christ, including taking time for children in His name.  It’s true that these words shape Christian leadership, but we can also rejoice that they shape Christian parenting, Christian education, Christian fellowship, Christian charity, Christian worship and every other facet of following Christ.
We need this gentle instruction from our Lord and Master.  Christ’s T…

The Seven Deadly Sins

Image
The Seven Deadly Sins were first compiled by Pope Gregory I around the year 600. Gregory also compiled a list of the seven virtues. Gregory likely intended the list to be used as a Catechism of sorts, a simple and memorable way to teach certain principles from God's Word. Literacy and the printed word were rare at that time in history.
The Bible does not have a list specifically called the Seven Deadly Sins. There are, however, several passages that bear some resemblance to the list. Scripture attests to the danger of these seven and, for that matter, any other sin. Sin stains. Sin damns. Sin separates us from God and often from each other.
In our Sunday morning Bible studies from September 27 through November 15, we’ll explore what God has to say about what these sins are and why they are so deadly. We’ll also have a little fun examining how each of these deadly sins correspond with one of the seven characters from “Gilligan’s Island.” We’ll also study the corresponding virtues. Th…

Worship Helps for Pentecost 18

Image
Title: Christ teacheth humility Artist: Robert Scott Lauder
Worship Theme: True greatness is a paradox.  It grows out of seeing ourselves as small and God as great.  Such greatness has its center in love—both God’s great love for us in Christ and our love for our neighbor.  Such love leads to genuine, humble service.
Old Testament:Numbers 12:1-15 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2 "Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?" they asked. "Hasn't he also spoken through us?" And the LORD heard this. 3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.) 4 At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, "Come out to the Tent of Meeting, all three of you." So the three of them came out. 5 Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the Tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When both of them stepped forward, 6 he said, "Li…

“Ephphatha!” – “Be opened!”

Image
Mark 7:31-37 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man. 33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!"). 35 At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. 36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak." Maybe you have seen the videos on YouTube or through your Facebook feed. They are videos of deaf people who h…

Who am I and why am I here

Image
Our Wednesday evening Bible studies start September 16 at 7:30 pm. We will meet in the Holy Ghost room above the church. We will be using the WELS Interactive Studies. Our first study is on “Who am I and why am I here.” Pastor Tom Kock will lead us to see that the grace of God gives us a wonderfully positive understanding of what God has declared us to be. This grace fills us with confidence and peace.

Who Am I and Why Am I Here starts Sunday, September 16 at 7:30 pm.

Raised him up

Image
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer-- at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the tem…

Outdoor worship on September 13

Image
Join us for God’s extraordinary message in Word and Song. Come for the worship. Enjoy the food. Stay for the fellowship. Our Wisconsin Lutheran School children are singing. Branches Band is providing the music.
Please bring a dish to pass for the potluck. You can also bring lawn chairs and lawn games for after the meal. The children can play at the park’s playground.
Outdoor Worship at 10:30 am, Sept 13 @ Pritchard Park under the pavilion. Potluck Meal at 12:00 pm.
It’s just down the street, it’s free – and it’s all brought to you by Epiphany Lutheran Church!

Completely clean

Image
Mark 7:1 The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and 2 saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were "unclean," that is, unwashed. 3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.) 5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with 'unclean' hands?" 6 He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' 8 You have let go of the c…

Worship Helps for Pentecost 16

Image
Title: Jesus Heals a Deaf Man Artist: Walter Rane
In this painting, Rane emphasizes the actual healing process rather than who is performing the miracle. The focus is upon the two sets of hands: Christ's lovingly stretched forth in tenderness, the blind man's twisted and anxious while being healed, thereby capturing the blind man's hope of being released from a pitiable condition. Rane used sandpaper to scrub out the background to eliminate distractions so the viewer focuses on the two main figures.
Worship Theme: If you can hear, you probably take your sense of hearing for granted.  Yet what a wonderful gift from God your sense of hearing is!  You can hear how Jesus died for you.  You can receive not just into your ears, but deep inside you, the whole wondrous message of God’s rescue.  You can hear the same good news Adam and Noah heard, the same good news Isaiah, Peter and Jesus preached—preached even to a man who previously had been a deaf-mute.
Old Testament:Isaiah 35:4-7a