Thoughts: Mark tells us that Mary gave birth to at least six more children, possibly in rapid succession. The first twelve years of Jesus’ life were undoubtedly busy and perhaps anxious times for Mary. She was ever mindful that the care of the Son of God had been entrusted to Joseph and her.
Nothing is recorded in the gospels about the family’s journey to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, nor are we told anything about their time in Jerusalem. The story begins with their trip home.
Many parents may have raised their eyebrows over Joseph’s and Mary’s traveling toward home for one full day, assuming that Jesus was walking with other people in their group. Why didn’t they check to make sure he was with them?
But Jesus must have known when his family planned to leave for home, and he decided to stay in Jerusalem with his appreciative new friends.
Joseph and Mary endured four days of frantic worry before they found Jesus in the temple. (Wouldn’t it have made sense to start looking there?) To Mary’s mild reproach, Jesus replied defensively, “Why were you looking for me? Don’t you understand I need to take care of my Father’s business?”
We treasure this story because it is the only one in the gospels about Jesus’ childhood. Is it comforting to know that even Joseph and Mary made mistakes as parents? Or that Jesus was not always the perfectly obedient child?
Discussion: What is your dominant impression of this story?
Activity: Remember to tell the people who love you where you will be.
Remember in prayer Ken Engelmann @ Heartland, Connie Gill, Vivian Hansard, Eunice Kraase and Diane Sadlier.
Remember Reunion Bell Choir rehearsal and dinner, December 23rd, from 6-8pm and special choir rehearsal at 7:30pm.
Christmas Eve Family Service at 4:30pm and Traditional Service at 7:00pm.
Next Sunday is the Young Adult get-together. Please RSVP to Carole.
Next Sunday is regular worship at 10am with Health Pros in the CLC.
Thoughts: Two unlikely – indeed, theoretically impossible mothers. Of Elizabeth, people must have exclaimed, “She’s too old!” Of Mary, people probably clucked disapprovingly “She’s not married!” Yet through God’s divine plan, both Elizabeth and Mary were expectant mothers.
Elizabeth was past child-bearing. Mary was a teen-aged virgin. But as Gabriel reminded Mary, “… with God nothing shall be impossible.”
Both Elizabeth and Mary had been told that they would bear sons sent from God, and their names were already decided. So there was no suspense about “Is it a boy or a girl?” and there were no skirmishes about naming the baby for Great-grandmother Hepzibah or rich old Uncle Mordecai.
Elizabeth’s son John would “… make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Mary’s son Jesus “… shall be called the Son of God.”
Discussion: Why were these two particular women chosen to be the mother of John the Baptist and the mother of Jesus the Christ?
Activity: What are we chosen to do during Advent?
Remember in prayer this week Joan Coval in her final days of Hospice, Ken Engelmann at Heartland, Connie Gill, Vivian Hansard, and Eunice and Bill Kraase.
This Friday is the memorial service for Betty Leach at 11am with visitation beginning at 10am.
Also this Friday is the blood drive from 1–6:45pm.
Saturday from 3-5pm is the Open house at the parsonage, 6339 Vernmoor in Troy.
Sunday will be Communion and Baptism during worship. At 3pm is our Hope and Healing Service in the Chapel.
Come Sing Christmas Eve!!
At this year’s 7:00 Christmas Eve service, the choir will once again be singing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus! Those who are interested in joining us up front are invited to come to rehearsal on Wednesday, December 23rd at 7:30 p.m. to get reacquainted with this glorious piece. We will also be singing a beautiful Craig Courtney Christmas anthem, and all are invited to stay and rehearse that piece as well, if interested.
If you cannot make this rehearsal, no worries! Those who cannot but are interested in singing, are invited to do so from the pews.
They say that singing is praying twice, and what better time to lift our voices in praise than to celebrate the birth of our Savior? God Bless us, every one!
Thoughts: In addition to being a physician, Luke must have been a student of history. Carefully he dates the time of his writing by naming the current Roman emperor, the governor of Judea, the tetrarch of Galilee, the tetrarch of Iturea and Trachonitis, the tetrarch of Abilene, and the high priests serving in Jerusalem.
Do you begin your letters establishing the current President of the United States, the governor of Michigan, the executive of Oakland Country, the superintendent of the Renaissance District?
Luke’s precise political and religious framework marks the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry. John quotes the prophet Isaiah.
“Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain ….” (Isaiah 40:3-4)
When a Roman ruler toured the countryside, roads were literally made straight. Hills were leveled. Valleys were filled in. Rough places were made smooth. Then the dignitary could travel with the greatest possible comfort.
John wants people’s hearts made ready for the Son of God.
Discussion: What example would you use to convince your audience to smooth rough places?
Activity: Smooth an uneasy relationship with kind words.
Remember in prayer this week Joan Coval, Connie Gill, Vivian Hansard, Betty Leach, and the family of Kaj Ostergaard on the death of his mother this past week.
Sunday is the Children’s Pageant and new members are joining.
Don’t forget to shop for your Angel Tree and Baldwin store gifts and don’t forget to start baking your cookies for the Cookie Walk.
REACH Drama is presenting “The Odyssey of Pandora’s Box,” an original play written by students and parents of REACH Homeschool Group. This is directed by our own Nora-Lee Luttrell. Performances are Thursday at 7:00pm,
Friday at 1:00pm and 7:00pm and Saturday at 1:00pm. Tickets are $4.00 each; costuming is unbelievable. Come and see the CLC transformed into a theatre in the round. You won’t be sorry.
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UNITED METHODIST SPECIAL SUNDAYS:
These are the days that our worldwide United Methodist churches take offerings for special projects for our worldwide church.