Worship on Harvest Festival Weekend

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Harvest Festival and Homecoming Weekend Worship

The Harvest Festival and Homecoming is this weekend, October 20.  We actually have 4 worship opportunities for you.  We encourage you to plan to gather with God’s people for worship.  You are especially invited to attend one of the alternative time services in the event that your volunteering for the Harvest Festival and Homecoming would conflict with your participation in the 9:30 a.m. service.  Planning ahead is a good thing.

 

Here are times and locations of the four services:

Saturday at 6:00 p.m. at MLLC

Sunday at ~7:00/7:15 a.m. at the Carmine Hall – lower level by kitchen

Sunday at 8:00 a.m. at Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church – our partner church,

The Waldeck Church is located at 6915 Waldeck Church Lane, about 6.5 miles south of Ledbetter at the intersection of FM 2145 and FM 1291

Sunday at 9:30 a.m. at the Carmine Hall – upper level – featuring Polka style worship songs

All of these services listed above will offer Holy Communion.

 

Note that there will be no 10:00 a.m. service at the church this Sunday (October 20).  We will resume our normal schedule on the weekend of October 26-27.

 

 

Here is the schedule for other part of the 2019 Harvest Festival and Homecoming:

All of these events are at the Carmine Hall

11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Chicken Dinner – tickets are $10/each – some are still available – call office at 979-278-3388 or at the door on Sunday

 

11 a.m. and following – children’s activities

Around 12 noon – Live and Silent Auctions

 

We look forward to seeing you at worship and at the festival this weekend.

 

The Other Wise Man Story

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Celebrating the Epiphany of our Lord

On Sunday, January 6, 2019, we celebrated the Epiphany of our Lord at worship.  As part of this, Pastor David Tinker shared this abridged version of the famous story, The Other Wise Man, by Henry Van Dyke.

There are numerous editions of the entire story available through book stores and online retailers.  Here is a link to one such version on Amazon.com.  Since there are many versions, you can see other options on that web site.

Here is the abridge version as shared at worship.  Thanks to Pastor Mark Gibbs of St. Michael Lutheran Church, Ottawa Lake, Michigan, for doing the abridgement of this classic tale.

 

The Other Wise Man

“The Other Wise Man” by Henry van Dyke is a powerful story for the Epiphany.  It was first published in 1895.  Today I present an abridged version.

In the days when Augustus Caesar was master of many kings and Herod reigned in Jerusalem, there lived among the mountains of Persia a certain man named Artaban, one of the Magi. Artaban, like his friends Caspar, Melchoir, and Balthasar, had observed the star and consulted the ancient prophecies regarding the coming child king. He sold all his belongings to purchase gifts for the child-King; a sapphire, a ruby, and a pearl. Then he set out on a ten-day journey, to meet his friends, so together they might search for the King.

Time was short. If Artaban arrived too late, his friends would leave without him. Yet, he made good time and on the tenth day his goal was within his grasp.  Only three more hours of hard riding and he would make his rendezvous with his friends. But suddenly, he saw something before him and he reined his horse to a stop. Artaban dismounted.  The dim starlight revealed the form of a man lying across the road. His humble dress and the outline of his haggard face showed that he was probably a Hebrew.  The chill of death was in his lean hand. Artaban turned away with a thought of pity. But as he turned, a long, faint, ghostly sigh came from the man’s lips. The bony fingers gripped the hem of the Magian’s robe and held him fast.

Artaban’s heart leapt to his throat, not with fear, but with a speechless resentment at the importunity of this blind delay.  If he lingered but for an hour his companions would think he had given up the journey. But if he went on now, the man would surely die…

Artaban turned back to the sick man. He stayed there and ministered to the man, for Magians are physician as well.

At last the man’s strength returned; he sat up and looked about him. “Who art thou?” he said, “and why hast thou sought me here to bring back my life?”

“I am Artaban the Magian, and I am going to Jerusalem in search of one who is to be born king of the Jews.”

The Jew raised his trembling hand solemnly to heaven.  “I have nothing to give thee in return – only this: that I can tell thee where the Messiah must be sought.  For our prophets said that he should be born not in Jerusalem, but in Bethlehem of Judah.  May the Lord bring thee in safety to that place, because thou hast had pity upon the sick.”

Artaban pushed on, but alas, he arrived too late. His friends had left without him, leaving him only a note beneath a brick, saying he should purchase provisions and follow them across the desert.  And so he did. He sold his sapphire to purchase the caravan of camels to carry him across the sea of sand that lay before him. After many days, he arrived in the little village of Bethlehem.

The streets of the village seemed to be deserted.  From the open door of a cottage he heard the sound of a woman’s voice singing softly. He entered and found a young mother hushing her baby to rest.  She told him of the strangers from the Far East who had appeared in the village three days ago, and how they said that a star had guided them to the place where Joseph of Nazareth was lodging with his wife and her newborn child.  “But the travelers disappeared again,” she continued, “as suddenly as they had come. The man of Nazareth took the child and his mother, and fled away that same night secretly to Egypt.”

The young mother laid the baby in its cradle, and rose to minister to the wants of the strange guest that fate had brought into her house.  But suddenly there came a noise of a wild confusion in the streets of the village and a desperate cry: “The soldiers!  The soldiers of Herod! They are killing our children!”  The young mother’s face grew white with terror.  She clasped her child to her bosom.  Artaban went quickly and stood in the doorway of the house. The soldiers came hurrying down the street with bloody hands and dripping swords. At the sight of the stranger in his imposing dress they hesitated with surprise. The captain of the band approached the threshold to thrust him aside. But Artaban did not stir. He said in a low voice, “I am all alone in this place, and I am waiting to give this jewel to the prudent captain who will leave me in peace.”

He showed the ruby, glistening in the hollow of his hand like a drop of blood.  The captain was amazed at the splendor of the gem. The pupils of his eyes expanded with desire. He stretched out his hand and took the ruby.  “March on!” he cried to his men.

Artaban reentered the cottage. He turned his face to the east and prayed, “God of truth, forgive my sin! I have said the thing that is not, to save the life of a child. And two of my gifts are gone.”

But the voice of the woman, weeping for joy in the shadow behind him, said very gently, “Because thou hast saved the life of my little one, may the Lord always bless thee.”

And so Artaban pushed on. Down into Egypt he traveled in search of the King. Still his search was to no avail as the King was nowhere to be found. While in Egypt he took counsel with a Hebrew rabbi.  The venerable man read aloud from the sacred scrolls the pathetic words which foretold the sufferings of the promised Messiah. “And remember, my son,” he said, “the King who thou seekest is not to be found among the rich and powerful. Those who seek him will do well to look among the poor and the lowly, the sorrowful and the oppressed.”

Three and thirty years Artaban searched for the King. Worn and weary and ready to die he had come for the last time to Jerusalem.  It was the season of the Passover and the city was thronged with strangers. There had been a confusion of tongues in the narrow streets for many days.  But on this day a singular agitation was visible in the multitude. The clatter of sandals flowed unceasingly along the street that led to the Damascus gate.

Artaban inquired of a group of people nearby the cause of the tumult. “We are going,” they answered, “to the place called Golgotha, outside the city walls, where there is to be an execution.  Two famous robbers are to be crucified, and with them another, called Jesus of Nazareth, who has done many wonderful works among the people, so that they love him greatly.”

Artaban’s heart beat unsteadily with the excitement of old age. He said to himself, “It may be that I shall at last find the King, and in the hands of his enemies no less, and shall come in time to offer my pearl for his ransom before he dies.”  So the old man followed the multitude toward the Damascus gate of the city.

Just then, a troop of soldiers came down the street, dragging a young girl. Suddenly she broke from the hands of her tormentors, and threw herself at Artaban’s feet. “Have pity on me,” she cried, “and save me. My father is dead, and I am seized for his debts to be sold as a slave.”

Artaban trembled. It was the old conflict in his soul, which had come to him in the palm-grove of Persia and in the cottage at Bethlehem.  Twice the gift which he had consecrated to the worship of God had been drawn to the service of humanity. He took the pearl from his bosom and laid it in the hand of the slave-girl.  “This is thy ransom, daughter!  It is the last of my treasures which I kept for the King.”

While he spoke, the darkness of the sky deepened, and tremors ran through the earth. The walls of the houses rocked to and fro. Stones were loose and crashed into the street. The soldiers fled in terror, but Artaban and the girl whom he had ransomed crouched helpless beneath the wall of the Praetorium.  A heavy tile, shaken from the roof, fell and struck the old man on the temple. He lay breathless and pale, with his gray head resting on the girl’s shoulder, and blood trickling from the wound.

Then the old man’s lips began to move and the girl heard him say, “Not so, my Lord! For when saw I thee hungry and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked and clothed thee? Three and thirty years have I looked for thee, but I have never seen thy face, nor ministered to thee, my King.”

He ceased and there came a sound akin to a sweet voice. The maid heard it, very faint and far away. And it seemed as though she understood the words, “Verily I say unto thee, inasmuch as thou has done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me.”

A calm radiance of wonder and joy lighted the pale face of Artaban.  A long breath of relief exhaled gently from his lips.  His journey was ended.  His treasures were accepted. The Other Wise Man had found the King.

 

 

Hurricane Harvey – Special Announcement

Hurricane Harvey

A Letter from Pastor David Tinker

Dear Members and Friends of Martin Luther Lutheran Church of Carmine,

As most of you have heard, there is a hurricane hitting Texas this weekend.  The northern part of the storm is already bringing rain to the Carmine area.  After consideration of the safety of all, Blake Dooley (Council President) and I have decided to cancel the worship services, Sunday School and all activities this weekend (August 26 & 27, 2017).  There were already some activities, such as the Blood Drive, which had been cancelled or postponed due to the storm.  Although we will not be receiving the worst part of Hurricane Harvey, we will be getting a significant amount of rain, likely at least 10-20 inches.  As there are many low water crossings of roads in the area, including Luther Lane, just down the block from MLLC, we felt it was the right thing to do.

Our Shared Ministry Partner Church – Waldeck Lutheran Church – has also cancelled their weekend worship and activities.

Please share this information with others in your life, especially people who are less likely to use the internet or social media.

As you are able, please do these things throughout these days of this difficult storm:

  1. Please tell others, as noted above.
  2. Pray for those who are helping the victims of the storm, and for those victims.
  3. Pay attention to those who are more vulnerable in the community, especially the elderly or sick, as well as families with small children.  See if they need any assistance.
  4. Be ready to serve and help others in the community who are in need.
  5. As you are able, know that the church will receive financial donations to help with hurricane relief.  We will work with our synod to make sure these funds are brought to our partner agencies which will help the victims.  We will publicize other opportunities for helping with hurricane relief as we learn of them.
  6. Take time to pray and read God’s Word this weekend.  At the end of this email I have included our Prayer of the Day and Readings for this weekend.
  7. Plan on gathering for worship this next weekend – September 3.  This will be our Labor Day Weekend worship (in the Fellowship Hall) and picnic.  We will have the Rally Day events on this Sunday as well – blessing of Sunday School teachers, Sunday School Awards, Rally Day Party, etc.
  8. Please remember to make up your missed offerings from this weekend.  You can bring them with you when you are at worship again in the coming weeks, mail them in to the church office, or use our church web site to make your offering to God by credit care, debit card, or bank account.  Remember, all the usual expenses continue even when we have these rare cancellations.  Our online giving link is:   https://mllccarmine.com/online-giving/

Feel free to contact me with any questions.   We look forward to seeing you at worship on September 3 and beyond.

Yours, in Christ’s Service,

Pastor David Tinker

___________________________________

Pastor David J. Tinker

Pastor of Martin Luther Lutheran Church

and Waldeck Lutheran Church
Martin Luther Lutheran Church

211 Luther Ln

P O Box 362

Carmine, TX 78932-0362

979-278-3388 – office in Carmine

979-278-3387 – fax in Carmine

979-278-3380 – Martin Luther Lutheran School

pastordjt@industryinet.com

http://mllccarmine.com

 

Waldeck Lutheran Church

6915 Waldeck Church Ln

Ledbetter, TX 78946

979-249-3802 – office in Waldeck

 

Readings and prayer of the day

for weekend of August 26-27, 2017

 

PRAYER OF THE DAY

O God, with all your faithful followers of every age, we praise you, the rock of our life. Be our strong foundation and form us into the body of your Son, that we may gladly minister to all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

 

First Reading: Isaiah 51:1-6

Just as God had called Abraham and Sarah and given them many descendants, so now God offers comfort to Zion. God’s deliverance will come soon and will never end.

 

 

1Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,

you that seek the Lord.

Look to the rock from which you were hewn,

and to the quarry from which you were dug.

2Look to Abraham your father

and to Sarah who bore you;

for he was but one when I called him,

but I blessed him and made him many.

3For the Lord will comfort Zion;

he will comfort all her waste places,

and will make her wilderness like Eden,

her desert like the garden of the Lord;

joy and gladness will be found in her,

thanksgiving and the voice of song.
4Listen to me, my people,

and give heed to me, my nation;

for a teaching will go out from me,

and my justice for a light to the peoples.

5I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,

my salvation has gone out

and my arms will rule the peoples;

the coastlands wait for me,

and for my arm they hope.

6Lift up your eyes to the heavens,

and look at the earth beneath;

for the heavens will vanish like smoke,

the earth will wear out like a garment,

and those who live on it will die like gnats;

but my salvation will be forever,

and my deliverance will never be ended.

 

Psalm: Psalm 138

1I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with | my whole heart;

before the gods I will | sing your praise.

2I will bow down toward your holy temple and praise your name, because of your steadfast | love and faithfulness;

for you have glorified your name and your word a- | bove all things.
 3When I called, you | answered me;

you increased my | strength within me.

4All the rulers of the earth will praise | you, O Lord,

when they have heard the words | of your mouth. R

5They will sing of the ways | of the Lord,

that great is the glory | of the Lord.

6The Lord is high, yet cares | for the lowly,

perceiving the haughty | from afar.

7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you | keep me safe;

you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies; your right | hand shall save me.

8You will make good your pur- | pose for me;

O Lord, your steadfast love endures forever; do not abandon the works | of your hands. Amen

 

Second Reading: Romans 12:1-8

In response to God’s merciful activity, we are to worship by living holistic, God-pleasing lives. Our values and viewpoints are not molded by this age, but are transformed by the Spirit’s renewing work. God’s grace empowers different forms of service among Christians, but all forms of ministry function to build up the body of Christ.

 

1I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
  3For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

 

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20

At a climactic point in Jesus’ ministry, God reveals to Peter that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” and Jesus responds with the promise of a church that will overcome the very gates of Hades.

 

13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Pondering Mother’s Day 2016

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We have Mixed Feelings at Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a day which brings with it a variety of feelings.  Some celebrate motherhood, mothers, children and so much more on this day.  Others avoid any mention of it.  Others recognize it as important, but don’t always know what to do with it.  Our mixed feelings can range from great delight to significant grief.  All of these are real, and all of these are normal and acceptable.  Our relationship with parents, family and parenting are not all that simple.

This is not the first time someone has pondered this reality.  Here is a blog post by MLLC member Jennifer Clark Tinker regarding her mixed feelings about Mother’s Day. Click this link.

At MLLC we know that both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are special day, yet these are difficult for some people.  There are many and various reasons for these difficult feelings.  Here are a few significant examples:

*Loss of a child, or children, through death of any circumstance, such as infant death, murder, accident, disease, abortion, stillbirth, miscarriage, etc.

*Death of a parent at any age.

*Desire for children, but circumstances prevent conceiving a child, such as singleness, divorce, widowhood, relationship difficulties, financial hardship, infertility struggles, etc.

*Struggles with one’s relationship with God and/or others.

*Broken relationship with a parent, a spouse, a sibling or a child.

*Abandonment by a parent.

 

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are special for many, yet difficult for many others.  This Mother’s Day we will recognize Mother’s Day in a few ways.  One is with a reception for all after worship this Sunday, May 8.  Worship is at 9:00 a.m. this Sunday, the reception will be at 10:00 a.m. Come for the fellowship and food.  We will also remember in prayer mothers and women of all ages.  Part of our prayers at worship will also remember those who have struggles and mixed feelings about this day.  Here are examples of the prayers being prepared for this day:

“On this Mother’s Day we pray for those who struggle with grief related to motherhood. Comfort those who mourn for deceased loved ones or who are estranged from either mother or child. Give strength to women who have lost a child or whose circumstances have prevented motherhood. Help us as a community of faith to care for one another in our grief.   Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
We give thanks for all mothers, grandmothers, along with all faithful girls and women in this congregation. Help them to love, serve and lead in ways which are honoring to you. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

Some congregations around the country have a banquet around the time of Mother’s Day.  One congregation I served as pastor years ago did this well.  They understood the various feelings people have around Mother’s Day.  What they had was a banquet called, “Daughters of All Ages”.  This event was for all women and girls, no matter what their relationship or parenthood circumstances were.  All the women and girls present at that event are the daughters of somebody.  Most importantly, by the Grace of God, they are daughters of God.  While this event didn’t solve all the struggles of each woman, the event opened the door for healing and support.

Mother’s Day is not a bad thing, but it is not always easy for each person.  We have good reason to be thankful for Mothers on Mother’s Day.  We also have good reason to love one another and to love God at this time of year.  Part of our love for God, one another, and our neighbors, is in how we show sensitivity to those who don’t always have good feelings regarding Mother’s Day.

No matter what your feelings are about Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, know that what matters most is what Jesus Christ has first done for us.  Because of his abundant mercy, forgiveness, and gift of life-giving hope, we have our most important identity in Christ.  The photo at the bottom of this article is of men and women, boys and girls, all gathered around the cross.  This reminds us that all people are loved by God, and are called to follow the way of Jesus, no matter what they have struggled with in this life.  By the stirring of the Holy Spirit and the power of God’s Word, Jesus draws all people to himself.  Through Christ Jesus we have healing, hope and restoration for this life and in eternity with our Lord.  Through this goodness of God we get to follow the Lord and to share his goodness with others.

 

This is an edited and updated version of an article which was on the http://mllccarmine.com website in May 2014.

 

Family-praising-God1-300x225

The 12 Days of Christmas

Nativity Sacred Art NatShepherdMurillo

 

by Pastor David Tinker
Martin Luther Lutheran Church
Carmine, Texas

When are the 12 Days of Christmas?

The 12 Days of Christmas are the days of the Christmas Season. These are the days between the Nativity of our Lord (December 25) and the Epiphany of our Lord (January 6). There are 2 traditions of counting these 12 Days of Christmas. One tradition is that the 12 Days of Christmas start on Christmas Day, and conclude on “Twelfth Night”, which is January 5. The second tradition is that the 12 Days of Christmas begin on December 26, and run through January 6. “Twelfth Night” would then be January 6. Despite the promotions and activity of our culture, the Christian “Christmas Season” begins on Christmas Day, rather than during the time leading up to Christmas.

Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas

Here are some ways to mark the 12 Days of Christmas in your home and daily life.
— Daily read something in the Bible about the birth and youth of Jesus. Look especially in Matthew chapters 1-2, and Luke chapter 2.
— For fun with your family sing the popular song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” — “on the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me..” Maybe do only the total number of days which have passed. Only on January 5 or 6, depending on how you count these days, would you sing all twelve verses. Another option would be to play a recording of someone singing this popular song.
— Tell others about the 12 Days of Christmas, such as in conversation, letters, e-mail, or on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
— Use 12 candles to count off the days during a meal or at devotions. One more candle is lit each day until all are lit on January 5th or 6th.
— Keep your Christmas tree up until at least January 6.
— Send your Christmas cards during this time, and possibly note the 12 Days of Christmas in your letter to family and friends.
— Attend worship at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Carmine on the two weekends which always occur in the 12 Days of Christmas. These will be on December 27 and January 3 for this season (2015-2016). Some folks pull back from worship during this time and miss out on a joyful time of the year at church.
— Schedule Christmas Parties during this time. You will be less stressed and it will give your friends another chance to get together for joyful fellowship.

Special Days during the 12 Days of Christmas

*December 26 – The Feast of St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr. Read about his ministry in Acts chapters 6 and 7
*December 27 – The Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist. Read one of the books connected to his ministry, such as the Gospel of John, the three letters of John, and Revelation.
*December 28 – Remembrance of the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem, Martyrs. Read about these victims of tyranny in Matthew chapter 2, especially verses 16-18.
*December 31 – New Year’s Eve – a chance to reflect on God’s grace for you during this past year.
*January 1 – The Name of Jesus. On this day we remember Jesus’ 8th day. Read about this in Luke 2:21. This is when his name was announced in a public way.
*The Epiphany of our Lord – January 6
‘The People who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness — on them light has shined.’ — Isaiah 9:2

The Epiphany of our Lord is mostly known as the celebration of the arrival of the Magi for their visit to bring their gifts of Jesus. It is much more. When we celebrate the Epiphany we are celebrating the spreading of the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Epiphany reminds us about the growing glory of God in the Son of God/Son of Man, Jesus Christ. Epiphany is the manifestation, or showing, of Jesus to the world. The Magi were non-Jewish foreigners who came to worship Jesus, and are thus representatives of those who would eventually benefit from the birth, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. This visit, from Matthew chapter 2, foreshadows the mission which Jesus grants to his followers. In the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20, our Lord commands us to make disciples of all nations, not just of the Jews.

Celebrating the Epiphany of our Lord

— Attend worship on Sunday, January 3, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. as we celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Carmine.
— Read the story of the Magi in Matthew, which is told throughout chapter 2.
— Pray for Christian missionaries as they spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
— Pray for the Church around the world.
— Host an Epiphany Party.
— Give generously to people in need. Remember, as Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
— Sing “We Three Kings” and/or “The First Noel”
— Attend worship on all or most every weekend in the season after the Epiphany.

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

The gifts of the Magi to Jesus point us to who Jesus really is:

*The Magi offer Gold, a possession of kings.
*The Magi offer Frankincense, used in ritual and prayer to indicate the presence of God
*The Magi offer myrrh, an oil used at the time of death as well as for anointing priests.

By their gifts, the wise men reveal the identity of this child:

*the king before whom nations will bow down
*the anointed high priest of God
*and the suffering servant who will die for the ones he has come to serve

Labor Day Weekend Sunday 2015

people working

Special Worship and Sunday School Times for Sunday, September 6, on Labor Day Weekend

Also, remember our Fellowship Pot-Luck after worship this Sunday.

See reflections on Labor Day after these notes about the time changes.

These are times for Sunday, September 6, 2015 only.

We will resume our regular schedule on the weekend of September 12-13.

*Sunday School at 9:00 a.m.
All regular classes will be in session for the new Sunday School Year

*Worship at 10:15 a.m.
We will gather in the Fellowship Hall. Worship will be “in the round”.

*Fellowship Meal – Pot Luck at ~11:30 a.m.
We will reconfigure some of the Fellowship Hall space for our meal together.

*The Plan for Food: The church committees are providing pulled pork and buns, onions, pickles, and sauce, along with basic drinks. You are invited to bring a side, salad or dessert to share with others.

*What to Wear: You are invited to wear to worship the typical garb or uniform of your daily work. This could be your current work, your work before retirement, or the vocation you have chosen for the future following school.

Labor Day Weekend Worship

By Pastor David Tinker

The beginning of September brings a Holy Day of sorts for all of us. Labor Day is a civic holiday to celebrate the opportunity for work. As Lutheran Christians we go deeper with this and view all work as part of God’s calling and his provision of our daily bread. All Christians are doing the work of God, regardless of where or what they do in their honorable vocation in life.

Some time ago I discovered a concise statement written by a fellow Lutheran pastor regarding the Lutheran Christian understanding of vocation. Here is an excerpt of what Pastor Samuel Schuldheisz, Redeemer Lutheran Church (LC-MS) of Huntington Beach, CA, writes, “… our earthly vocations or “stations in life” as Luther called them are fruits of our heavenly calling as God’s children in baptism. The purpose of vocation is to love and serve the neighbor in the particular stations in life that God has called us to whether we are a husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, teacher, student, etc. We don’t live life hidden in a corner. This was the danger of many priests and monks in the Reformation era. Many taught that the highest form of Christian living was to become a monk and live in a monastery. Luther wrote extensively against this false teaching as he re-discovered the doctrine of vocation and began to teach and preach about its necessity in the Christian life. Luther taught that on one level, there is no difference between monk and magistrate or priest and plumber. Each Christian is called according to God’s Word and Spirit, regardless of what their status in society is. This means that God’s calling of a Roadkill Collector is just as holy as God’s calling to be a pastor.

The difference is the office and duties that are unique to each vocation. For example, the pastoral office is not the office of school teacher, just as the office of father is not the same as the office of mother. Each vocation, or calling from God, has particular and unique duties attached to it. This is how God works in, with, and under the ordinary means of this life to accomplish His good and gracious will, physically and spiritually.”

To celebrate this blessing of vocation we will be taking the Sunday of Labor Day weekend to give thanks for the blessings of daily bread, of work, of school, of family, etc. To enhance our time together you are invited to wear the clothes or uniform of your current or pre-retirement vocation. No matter what, know that we will be giving thanks for and honoring all that God has called each of us to do as part of his greater work in the world. Know that who each of us is and what God has called and equipped each of us to do is important. On Sunday, September 6, we will take time to give thanks for all which God calls and equips us to do. As part of this we will have a pot-luck lunch following worship. Bring an salad, side item or dessert to share.

We look forward to seeing you September 6 and on other Sundays in the weeks to come.

Special Worship Events

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We are coming to the end of the “Festival Season” of the church year.  With that there are a number of celebrations upcoming.  We invite you to participate in these events.  We also encourage you to use these special times to delve more deeply into your faith in Jesus Christ.

Click this link to see the information about these various upcoming events.

These include:  Ascension, Pentecost, The Holy Trinity, and the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession.

New Bible Study Class

 

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A vivid journey through God’s Word.

We are beginning a new short Bible Study class at MLLC.  The Bible’s Big Story – Our Story, with materials from Crossways International (click the link to find out more).  Above is a photo of the two sides of the Telltale Time-line which will be the heart of this class.  You are also encouraged to bring your Bible.  If you do not have a Bible, we have Bibles you can use.

The photo of the timeline is used with permission of Crossways International, and is copyright H. N. Wendt.

You do not need to know much about the Bible to attend.  Simply come to listen if that is all you wish to do.  Or, come to discuss and interact as much as you feel comfortable.

Wednesdays – January 7, 14, 21, February 4 and 11 – come to as many as you are able, even if you miss the first one, or another one.  We will review what has been done in previous weeks.

The class will meet each week:  7-8 p.m.

In the Parlor – the room between the sanctuary and the church offices.

The class will be taught by Pastor David Tinker.  He has more than a decade of experience teaching this class and using this time-line.  You can contact him for more information:  office phone:  979-278-3388, email:  pastordjt@industryinet.com

There have already been requests to offer this class at another time of day or another day of the week.  We will offer this class again as the year goes along.  Keep watch of this web site and other MLLC announcements for future dates.

 

Here are reviews of these materials and classes by people from other congregations who have used this series either as teachers or students:

“People are amazed at how much they learn about the Bible in (a few) hours! The Bible’s Big Story, Our Story provides this opportunity. Rev. Paul Jagoe, St. Philip’s Anglican Church, Orlando, FL


“After eight years of trying to get adult education beyond the small Sunday morning class, The Bible’s Big Story provided the breakthrough! We now have over one-third of our worshipping congregation involved in two Crossways classes and one The Divine Drama®. What a thrill to see this kind of interest! This material provides a way to build interest in the Word which changes lives and congregations.”
Rev. Thomas McCurdy, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Castle, PA


“Participants were excited and thrilled with the wealth of information in The Bible’s Big Story: Our Story and the Biblical Tell Tale Time Line. [The CI visuals] are very easy to follow, but most profound in content.”
Ms. Rose Stegman, Faith Formation Office, St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church & School, Glenshaw, PA


“I have taught this terrific material since 1979! It is like a breath of fresh air; it gives interpretation and perspective of the total Bible. TBBS is one of the best things I’ve used. I have taught it to busy people in today’s busy world who appreciate the overview of the biblical narrative in a concise and Bible-focused manner.”
Rev. Walter Steinbach, Bethany Lutheran Church, Kaukauna, WI


“Crossways International has made a tremendous impact in my outreach in the community. Due to my position, I have many people who stop and inquire about the Bible. Here is where the CI material has been most helpful. The Biblical Tell-Tale Time-Line has become a standard instrument to present the Gospel Message. With it’s detailed graphics and easy-to-identify and remember icons, I lead people through the entire time line and offer them a panoramic view of God’s divine plan that was fulfilled in Jesus, the Christ.”
Raymond Rossell, Bible Teacher – Baptist, Flushing, MI


“It is an exciting way to teach and share the Bible’s big picture. I use this study to whet the appetites of high school students and adults in a study of God’s Word – with hopes of them signing up for the next class that digs even deeper into Scripture.”

Pastor Jan Campbell, Peace Lutheran Church, Rockdale, TX

 

 

Why is December 25th Celebrated as the Birth of Christ?

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Why is Christmas on December 25th?

It is a special day, and has been for many centuries.  The Church has some good reasons for choosing this date.  Over time some skeptics have asserted that this date was chosen because of a connection to pagan religious festivals.

Some years ago William J. Tighe wrote an article which was published in Touchstone Magazine.  In this article he challenged the premise that December 25 is forcing a Christian celebration on top of a pagan festival.  He presents strong evidence that December 25 was chosen for purely Christian reasons.

Here is the link to the article:  click here for article

As we celebrate these 12 Days of Christmas we pray that you will be drawn closer to the Christ Child who gave himself for us.

 

 

The 12 Days of Christmas, and then Epiphany

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by Pastor David Tinker

Martin Luther Lutheran Church

Carmine, Texas

When are the 12 Days of Christmas?

The 12 Days of Christmas are the days of the Christmas Season.  These are the days between the Nativity of our Lord (December 25) and the Epiphany of our Lord (January 6). There are 2 traditions of counting these 12 Days of Christmas. One tradition is that the 12 Days of Christmas start on Christmas Day, and conclude on “Twelfth Night”, which is January 5. The second tradition is that the 12 Days of Christmas begin on December 26, and run through January 6.  “Twelfth Night” would then be January 6. Despite the promotions and activity of our culture, the Christian “Christmas Season” begins on Christmas Day, rather than during the time leading up to Christmas.

Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas

Here are some ways to mark the 12 Days of Christmas in your home and daily life.

— Daily read something in the Bible about the birth and youth of Jesus.  Look especially in Matthew chapters 1-2, and Luke chapter 2.

— For fun with your family sing the popular song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” — “on the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me..”  Maybe do only the total number of days which have passed.  Only on January 5 or 6, depending on how you count these days, would you sing all twelve verses.  Another option would be to play a recording of someone singing this popular song.

— Tell others about the 12 Days of Christmas, such as in conversation, letters, e-mail, or on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

— Use 12 candles to count off the days during a meal or at devotions.  One more candle is lit each day until all are lit on January 5th or 6th.

— Keep your Christmas tree up until at least January 6.

— Send your Christmas cards during this time, and possibly note the 12 Days of Christmas in your letter to family and friends.

— Attend worship at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Carmine on the two weekends which always occur in the 12 Days of Christmas.  Some folks pull back from worship during this time and miss out on a joyful time of the year at church.

— Schedule Christmas Parties during this time.  You will be less stressed and it will give your friends another chance to get together for joyful fellowship.

 

Special Days during the 12 Days of Christmas

December 26 – The Feast of St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr.  Read about his ministry in Acts chapters 6 and 7

December 27 – The Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist.  Read one of the books connected to his ministry, such as the Gospel of John, the three letters of John, and Revelation.

December 28 – Remembrance of the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem, Martyrs.  Read about these victims of tyranny in Matthew chapter 2, especially verses 16-18.

December 31 – New Year’s Eve – a chance to reflect on God’s grace for you during this past year.

January 1 – The Name of Jesus.  On this day we remember Jesus’ 8th day.  Read about this in Luke 2:21.  This is when his name was announced in a public way.

The Epiphany of our Lord – January 6

‘The People who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness — on them light has shined.’ — Isaiah 9:2

The Epiphany of our Lord is mostly known as the celebration of the arrival of the Magi for their visit to bring their gifts of Jesus.  It is much more.  When we celebrate the Epiphany we are celebrating the spreading of the Good News of Jesus Christ.  The Epiphany reminds us about the growing glory of God in the Son of God/Son of Man, Jesus Christ. Epiphany is the manifestation or showing of Jesus to the world.  The Magi were non-Jewish foreigners who came to worship Jesus, and are thus representatives of who would eventually benefit from the birth, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus.  This visit, from Matthew chapter 2, foreshadows the mission which Jesus grants to his followers.  In the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20, our Lord commands us to make disciples of all nations, not just of the Jews.

Celebrating the Epiphany of our Lord

— Attend worship on Sunday, January 4, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. as we celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Carmine.

— Read the story of the Magi in Matthew chapter 2

— Pray for Christian missionaries as they spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

— Pray for the Church around the world.

— Host an Epiphany Party.

— Give generously to people in need. Remember, as Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) — Sing “We Three Kings” and/or “The First Noel”

— Attend worship on all or most every weekend in the season after the Epiphany.

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

The gifts of the Magi to Jesus point us to who Jesus really is. The Magi offer gold, a possession of kings; frankincense, used in ritual and prayer to indicate the presence of God; and myrrh, an oil used at the time of death as well as for anointing priests. By their gifts, the wise men reveal the identity of this child: the king before whom nations will bow down, the anointed high priest of God, and the suffering servant who will die for the ones he has come to serve.