Advertisements

January 7 Sermon

 

A Reflection by Rev. Dr. Thom Bower
For January 7 2018, Epiphany Sunday
Based on Matthew 2:1-12

In Matthew’s gospel, the story of Jesus begins with the birth of Jesus. Angels, shepherds, magi, and kings fill out the cast of the divine drama played on the stage of human history. This morning’s reading tells us of the magi following the star and the explanation the gave to Herod for traveling so far from home.

Magi from the east. “The bible is not clear who these strangers are; it’s only clear that they are strangers. They are from the east; they watch the stars. Perhaps they come from Babylon {not far from modern Baghdad in Iran; to the Roman Empire that region was a suspicious as it is to our current government}. Certainly {Jews would label them as} they are pagans. This group of strangers arrives as pagans and they leave as pagans. …{These strange itinerant pagan foreigners} appear to be astrologers. {They may also have been physicians and engineers and biologists. But} They know about the birth of Jesus because they study the stars. If you want to know what the bible says about pagans and astrologers, check Leviticus. {Spoiler alert:} Leviticus doesn’t much like either one. {But} here come the magi, no matter what Leviticus says {about them}. And they are not to be ignored.”[1] They are not to be forgotten.

To make sure they are neither ignored or forgotten, the church has preserved a holiday for them, the day of Epiphany. Epiphany literally means “from the light” but it could also mean “appearing because.” In most ancient cultures light is used to describe insight or understanding or wisdom. An epiphany is a new understanding, a new relationship. So these foreign pagan astrologers follow a star with unusual light providing direction to the Messiah, the Christ, the one promised in ancient holy writings to inaugurate God’s way of being within earthly realities. An epiphany, an understanding, a new relationship. We’re challenged to identify how we will seek the messiah: What signs will we receive to lead us to Christ? What sings will we trust to lead us to Christ? Continue reading

January Worship Schedule

Worship is the heart of the church! Sunday morning worship services are at 10:00 a.m.

Church school for children preschool through grade 8 is offered during the worship time September 8 through May. Children begin in the sanctuary for worship for the first 15-20 minutes, and then are dismissed to their church school classes following the Children’s Time.

The first Sunday of the month is usually a Communion Sunday and Family Sunday, No church school classes are offered on those Sundays. Children are invited to participate in worship with their families. All may participate in Communion, including young children, if their parents believe they have some understanding of the special nature and meaning of Communion.

 

 

The Good News for January

Please choose which news letter you would like to view:

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

July & August 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

Mar 2017

February 2017

The newsletter is also available via email.  Send your email address to lyonsville@sbcglobal.net and we’ll add you to the distribution list.

qqq –  insert pdf – qqq

November 26 Sermon

Seeking Christ
A reflection by Rev. Dr. Thom Bower
For November 26 2017, Reign of Christ Sunday
Based on Matthew 25:31-46

This morning’s passage is titled by scholars as “Matthew’s little apocalypse.” In 15 verses Matthew describes the final day of judgment. The Messiah is seated on a throne surrounded by angels, assessing humanity. In describing a far-off future, the writer intended to instruct people about their current responsibilities. Listen for God’s still-speaking voice in these familiar words.

 

These are two of my grandchildren. Weston is 7, and Kinley is five. This is a picture of Weston from about 4 years ago. As they prepared for baptisms, they went as a family visiting a number of congregations of different sizes, worship styles, and even denominations. At the end of one of these visits, Mom and Dad asked Weston what he thought. “I really liked the music,” he said, “but why do all the words have to be about Jesus?”

Dear Weston, this sermon is going to be my attempt to explain why all the words in the songs are about Jesus. So imagine with me that 7 year-old Weston sitting in this sanctuary. For some reason he did not leave with the other children to go to Sunday School but instead has remained in worship.

We believe that God, the one who has made the entire universe, became human. That human being was Jesus, a man who lived a long, long time ago in place called Nazareth. And that is why the words of our songs are about Jesus. Continue reading