The 14th Sunday after Pentecost

SEPTEMBER 6, 2020

FOURTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

First Reading: Ezekiel 33:7-11

R:  A reading from Ezekiel, the 33rd chapter.

God appointed Ezekiel as a sentinel for the house of Israel. Ezekiel must faithfully convey God’s warnings to the people. Remarkably, God—who is about to attack Jerusalem—gives a warning with the hope that repentance will make the attack unnecessary.

7So you, mortal, I have made a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 8If I say to the wicked, “O wicked ones, you shall surely die,” and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at your hand. 9But if you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, and they do not turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but you will have saved your life.
10Now you, mortal, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have said: “Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?” 11Say to them, As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Psalm: Psalm 119:33-40

R:  Psalm 119, read responsively by verse.

33Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes,
  and I shall keep it to the end.
34Give me understanding, and I shall keep your teaching;
  I shall keep it with all my heart.
35Lead me in the path of your commandments,
  for that is my desire.
36Incline my heart to your decrees
  and not to unjust gain. 
37Turn my eyes from beholding falsehood;
  give me life in your way.
38Fulfill your promise to your servant,
  which is for those who fear you.
39Turn away the reproach that I dread,
  because your judgments are good.
40Behold, I long for your commandments;
  by your righteousness enliven me. 

Second Reading: Romans 13:8-14

R:  A reading from Romans, the 13th chapter.

The obligation of Christians is to love one another and so fulfill the heart and goal of the law. Clothes make the person as we “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” and live today in light of the future God has in store for us.

8Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
11Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; 12the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; 13let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

*Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20

P:  The holy gospel according to St. Matthew, the 18th chapter.

Glory to you, O Lord.

Jesus offers practical advice to his disciples on how individuals—and the church as a whole—should go about restoring relationships when one member has sinned against another.

[Jesus said to the disciples:] 15“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.

16But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

Devotion

“Clothes Shopping”

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

         In the past month many families have gone clothes shopping.  It is an annual ritual of sorts for the time of back to school.  This is done for at least two reasons.

1 – to make sure the student has sufficient and proper fitting clothes.

2 – to help the student begin the year with a fresh attitude of self-respect and readiness for getting down to work.  The outer garb helps with the inner attitude.

         There is that old proverb:  The Clothes Make the Man.  This generally means that what a person wears helps to define who they are and what their attitude will be.  Sloppy or dirty clothes can affect the attitude of a person. Neat, clean and well-ordered clothes can be part of a generally together and positive attitude for a person.  Also, the way one dresses affects how the person is perceived or understood by others.

         Clothes used as a uniform help identify the role, actions, or associations of a person.  Police officers, fire fighters, restaurant workers, soldiers, pastors, medical staff, and many others wear uniforms for identification by others.

         In today’s reading from Romans we read about a new kind of clothing or uniform for God’s people.  This clothing can not be seen on the body, but it can be seen in how the believer lives.  Paul writes in verse 14 of our reading, “Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for he flesh, to gratify its desires.”  The Apostle Paul also refers to this as the “armor of light” in verse 12.  The basic message is that through the forgiveness of sin and the loving goodness of God, believers in Jesus have the opportunity to become someone different.  For us to have believed in Jesus and received him through baptism and faith, we are called to become the person God has made us to be.  Our lives are changed for the better by entering into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  When we put on or receive Jesus Christ in our lives we get to see how the Holy Spirit transforms our lives.  Our new set of clothes, our new uniform is Jesus.  We become what God has dressed us to be.  In a very real sense, by the grace of God, the Clothes make the Christian.

         With God’s abundant goodness and mercy we are invited to put on the new clothes of faith.  These new spiritual garments replace the old.  This replacement takes place first on the cross of Jesus.  Our old way of living, filled with broken lives, sin, death, self-deception, evil and destruction, has only brought us death.  Paul reminds us earlier in the book of Romans that, “the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23).  Our rejection of God and his will had become our way of living.  Humanity had put on the dirty rags of sin, death and evil. 

         God, through the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, has offered to us a new set of clothes.  He first takes upon himself our dirty rags of sin and death.  These he wore spiritually when he died on the cross for the forgiveness of all we had done to disregard his ways.  Just days after Jesus was lain in the tomb and left for dead he surprised the world by fulfilling his promise to rise from the dead.  In that he offers to humanity a new set of clothes.  As we are joined spiritually to his death and rising from the tomb we are granted the new garments of salvation from eternal death and the power of sin and evil.  Through baptism and the gift of faith we are clothed with Jesus’ perfection, love and goodness.  Paul reminds us of this truth in Galatians, chapter 3, verse 27, where he writes, “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ”  We give thanks that God gives to us life and hope and the garments of salvation, and we are empower and gifted to live God’s most excellent way. 

         Along the way we discover and implement all that this “Putting on Christ” means for our lives.  One of the most powerful passages describing this is in Ephesians, chapter 6, verses eleven through seventeen.  Paul writes, “11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

         God’s blessing of being clothed with Christ changes who we are and what we do.  Through the mercy of our Lord we can put on the whole armor of God and we can be ready for all that God calls us to do.  I invite you to ponder the words of this passage about the Whole Armor of God.  Start with giving thanks to God for his mercy and grace.  Then prayerfully consider how you might utilized the gifts of God for the encouragement of your faith, for being a blessing to others, and to give praise and thanks to our loving God.  And remember, by the grace and goodness of God, the Clothes make the Christian.

Let us pray – Gracious Lord, your mercy is greater than we can ever imagine.  By your Holy Spirit help us to receive you in faith and to grow into the people you have redeemed us to be.  We pray this in Jesus’ holy name.  Amen

*Prayers of Intercession

A:  Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.

A brief silence.

Loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are the one true God.  Turn our spiritual hearts toward you so that we may respond to you with joyful worship and abundant praise.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We give you thanks for the blessings of work in our daily lives.  Help us to use our gifts and resources in a manner which builds up life for the community.  Lord, in your mercy,  hear our prayer.

Enable each of us to show compassion and charity for our neighbors each day.  Guide us to love and care for one another in your Church, the Body of Christ.  Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We lift in prayer those who have suffered in any way due to recent disasters. Help us work with others to bring relief and encouragement to these neighbors in need.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We pray that all who mourn will receive the comfort of the Holy Spirit.  Guide us to care for those who struggle following the loss of a loved one.  (We especially remember…)   Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Good and Gracious Lord, bring healing, strength and hope to those who struggle in mind, body, or spirit, especially . . .  and also those whom we name aloud or in quiet prayer…  May your comforting Spirit strengthen all for whom we pray.   Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We lift in prayer Texas Lutheran University and the Lutheran Seminary Program of the Southwest.  Guide the leaders, students, staff and faculty at these schools as they train leaders for the church and society.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Other petitions may be added here.

You grant us what we truly need in this life.  We pray that you would be powerfully present with each of us.  Stir your Holy Spirit in us to bring out the spiritual fruit of generosity and goodness in our lives.  Lord, in your mercy,  Hear our prayer.

P:  Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

LORD’S PRAYER 

Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #27061.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Waldeck Lutheran Church BBQ Sunday, September 27. 10:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.  Drive thru only.  Whole Chicken $10/each; Sausage Links $7/each.  Homemade BBQ sauce also available.  Pre-order by calling 979-249-6551 or 979-966-8872.  Tell your friends.  This is their main, special fundraiser for 2020.  Thank you for your support.

Devotion and Readings for September 5 & 6

Bible Readings and Devotion for September 5 & 6, 2020

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

September 5

 

Luke 6:12-16 

Job 12:1-25

Psalm 12-14, 17

2 Kings 19

September 6

Luke 6:17-19

Job 13:1-28

Psalm 18

2 Kings 20

Devotion for September 6, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

When teaching about the various Books of the Bible I have sometimes tossed in an odd name.  It is Hezekiah.  I know that Hezekiah is not the name of any book of the Bible.  His name sounds like a prophet or something like that.  I throw this name out there to get people thinking.  I mention him because our reading from 2 Kings 20 shares part of his story.

My ultimate goal when teaching the names of the books is this: I hope that people will learn the names of the books of the Bible, in order, and as to whether it is Old Testament or New Testament.  The purpose of this is so that people will be able to use their Bible well.  When given a reference I want to help them to find the book quickly.  Then they can move along to find the specific chapter and verse.   When they know where a certain book it, then they can also gain understanding of what is around it and how it relates to the themes and broad story of God’s Holy Word to us.

One of the tools I use for teaching is what follows in this devotion.  It is a document I created more than a decade ago.  It presents the names of the books of the Bible in order and divided by Old and New Testaments.  I also read through the book and found a short theme of each book.  

Here is a link to a PDF of this document.  Feel free to use it.  It will print out better than printing this web page. 

Books of the Bible – Themes of Each Book               THE OLD TESTAMENT

1.         Genesis                       A Book of Beginnings

2.         Exodus                       Freedom for God’s people

3.         Leviticus                    A Holy People Worship a Holy God

4.         Numbers                    Preparing for the Promised Land

5.         Deuteronomy             The Second Giving of the Law

6.         Joshua                        Entering the Promised Land

7.         Judges                        Heroes for Israel

8.         Ruth                           Family is Important

9.         1 Samuel                    The people ask for Kings

10.       2 Samuel                    David’s Success and Sin

11.       1 Kings                       Divided Strength in Israel

12.       2 Kings                       Deeper Trouble for God’s People

13.       I Chronicles               Retelling of History

14.       2 Chronicles               Idol Worship brings them down

15.       Ezra                            Return to Jerusalem

16.       Nehemiah                   Rebuilding the Walls

17.       Esther                         A Queen Saves the Day

18.       Job                              Life is Tough, God is Faithful

19.       Psalms                        The People Sing

20.       Proverbs                    Wise Ideas for all time

21.       Ecclesiastes                Life is Meaningless without God

22.       Song of Solomon       God’s Love Song

23.       Isaiah                          Afflict the Comfortable, Comfort the Afflicted

24.       Jeremiah                    The Need to Return to God

25.       Lamentations             Hope in the midst of tears

26.       Ezekiel                        Doom leads to hope

27.       Daniel                         Standing Firm under Pressure

28.       Hosea                          God’s unfaithful people

29.       Joel                             The Promise of God’s Holy Spirit

30.       Amos                          Let Justice Roll Down like waters

31.       Obadiah                     Don’t Mess with God’s people

32.       Jonah                          God loves all people

33.       Micah                         Perverting Faith or Pleasing God

34.       Nahum                       God Judges, God Rules

35.       Habakkuk                  God is in Control

36.       Zephaniah                 Seek the Lord

37.       Haggai                        The Call to Rebuild the Temple

38.       Zechariah                  Visions of Hope

39.       Malachi                      The Faithful will remain

 

 

Books of the Bible – Themes of Each Book     THE NEW TESTAMENT

1.         Matthew                     Jesus Teaches Us

2.         Mark                          Prepare the Way of the Lord

3.         Luke                           The Babe who Loves us

4.         John                            God so loves the world

5.         Acts                            The growing church

6.         Romans                      Textbook of the Good News

7.         1 Corinthians             Love – the More Excellent Way

8.         2 Corinthians             We are a New Creation

9.         Galatians                    Freedom in Christ

10.       Ephesians                   One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism

11.       Philippians                 Joy in Following Jesus

12.       Colossians                  Jesus is Supreme

13.       1 Thessalonians         Be Faithful in the Long Term

14.       2 Thessalonians         Waiting for Jesus

15.       1 Timothy                  Encouragement for a young leader

16.       2 Timothy                  Strength in Service

17.       Titus                           Instructions for Leaders

18.       Philemon                    A plea for true brotherhood

19.       Hebrews                     Christ is the Greatest

20.       James                         Be a Doer of the Word

21.       1 Peter                        Strength in Suffering

22.       2 Peter                        Diligence in Growth

23.       1 John                         Let us love one another

24.       2 John                         Walking in the Truth

25.       3 John                         Imitating Good

26.       Jude                            Watch for False Teachers

27.       Revelation                  Hope for Heaven

My hope and prayer for each of you is that you will actively seek to read, study and understand God’s Word.  It is a message from our loving God of faith, hope, and love for the whole human race, including Hezekiah.

Prayer

Blessed Lord God, you have caused the holy scriptures to be written for the nourishment of your people. Grant that we may hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that, comforted by your promises, we may embrace and forever hold fast to the hope of eternal life, which you have given us in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Devotion and Readings April 2

jonah under plant

Bible Readings and Devotion for April 2, 2020

 

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

 

Matthew 23:1-22

1 Corinthians 9:1-18

Psalm 78:1-40

Jonah 4

 

Devotion for April 2, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

The Book of Jonah is a very special book in my faith life and my study of God’s Holy Word.  See my notes on this in the devotion from March 31.  Jonah’s book gets us thinking about our own faith and our own sinful ways.  It even has a mildly humorous approach to these issues.

In Jonah chapter 4 we have the last section of the story of Jonah’s ministry.  It presents to us Jonah’s reaction to the repentance of the people of Nineveh as shown in chapter 3.  He is not happy about this situation.  We read, “1 But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. 3 And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.””

The Parable of the Fig Tree in Luke 13:6-9 can help us inform our understanding of this situation fig tree.  Here is how it reads:  “6 Then (Jesus) told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7 So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ 8 He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”

Often people have interpreted this parable as God being the one who tells the gardener to cut the tree down.  Could it be that God is the gardener who asks the landowner to have some patience?  Maybe this is really about human impatience with one another.  Maybe it is also about our impatience with God’s judgment.  Maybe God is the one who seeks to give us a second chance again and again.  We saw this in yesterday’s devotion.

The story of the prophet Jonah deals with this reality.  Jonah is sent to the Assyrian capital Nineveh.  God tells him to announce God’s impending judgment on the people of the city:  “40 days more and Nineveh will be overthrown.”  Jonah tells the people, and then goes outside the city to wait for the destruction.  Well, God’s Word did what it was supposed to do. The people turned from sin and toward faith in God.  They repented.  Jonah was furious.  He was so angry that he would die from that anger.  Jonah, like most of humanity, was angry that God was patient, and Jonah was impatient with God for not bringing judgment already.

Our human reality is that we are all too often cruel, impatient, hateful and quick to pass eternal judgment.  Sadly, there are three things wrong with our propensity to pass judgment.

1)  We don’t have the right to pass eternal judgment on others;

2) We pass judgment too quickly;

and 3) We deserve the same judgment we cast on others.

 

We are reminded in God’s Word that we are all sinners, and that the judgment on us is death and separation from God.  We have been impatient with God and with our neighbor.  We have wanted so much for ourselves that we ignore others in need around us.  We have chosen the supposedly easy way due to our impatience with God’s better way.  Ultimately, human sin and God’s holiness are naturally incompatible.  It is only through God’s patience with us and his great love for us that we can be drawn back to God.  In being with God, we are transformed into a people who live out God’s better form of patience.

All of this patience of God is to call us to live God’s most excellent way.  We are forgiven and then Jesus calls us to turn away from the wrong and to turn toward the right way.  Our “repentance” is the result of the love and patience of our God for us.  Remember what St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:4a, “Love is patient; love is kind…” Our amazing and wonderful God eagerly desires fellowship with us.  He is patient and he is kind.  Jesus is the personification of God’s love for humanity, and his entire work is for the purpose of bringing that love to us.  That love, patience and kindness lead us to repentance, to life with God.

Even though we are sometimes impatient with God at times, and we know that Jonah was impatient with God, it is very good that the Lord is immensely patient with us.  Today is the day to reconnect with God, for he is seeking connection with you each and every day.

Here is a link to a YouTube video of a song about God’s Kindness and Repentance.  It is one of my favorite songs.  “Your Kindness,” by Leslie Phillips.  Note that you may have to endure or skip past one or more ads in order to see the video and listen to the song.  It is worth your time.

Prayer

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:  thank you for your patience and kindness.  Help us by your Spirit to respond with repentance.  Grant us faith, hope and love for the sake of others in this world.  We pray this in Jesus’ Holy Name.  Amen.

Thanksgiving Eve Service 2018

Thanksgiving Thanks Banner

An Invitation to Thanksgiving Eve

You are invited to attend the annual Thanksgiving Eve service this Wednesday, November 21, 2018.  The service will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the building of our partner church, Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church.  That church is located at 6915 Waldeck Church Lane.  This is at the intersection of FM 2145 and FM 1291, just 6.5 miles south of Ledbetter.

A new thing this year is that we have invited the other two churches from the Crossroads Shared Lutheran Ministries to worship with us.  The people of St. Paul Lutheran in Shelby and Bethlehem Lutheran in Round Top will join with us for this special time of giving thanks.  Of course, all from the community are invited to participate, even if they are not members of any of these four churches.

 

 

Lent Wednesdays 2016

jesus-christ-crucifixion-395

You are invited to gather with God’s people for our Lenten Wednesday services.

Wednesdays in Lent

February 17, 24, March 2, 9 and 16
Fellowship Meal 6:00 p.m. each week
Evening Prayer 7:00 p.m. each week
Both the meal and worship will be in the Fellowship Hall.

Our Lenten Theme is “Reflections Around the Cross”. We are participating in a Pulpit Exchange with area Lutheran clergy. Each one will bring a message from a Biblical character who reflects on Jesus’ death on the cross. Each week we will also read a portion of Jesus’ Passion from the Gospel of Luke. We will use our usual service of Evening Prayer.

February 17 Pastor Candy O’Meara, portraying the Roman Centurion
February 24 Pastor Marcia Kifer, portraying Mary, the mother of our Lord
March 2 Pastor Willie Rotter, portraying Caiaphas, the High Priest
March 9 Pastor John David Nedbalek, portraying Satan
March 16 Pastor Glenn Hohlt, portraying Nicodemus

Later, on Good Friday, Pastor David Tinker will be portraying the Apostle John.

 

See this link for additional information:  https://mllccarmine.com/

 

Christmas Eve 2015

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Our Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO) has been working hard preparing for Christmas Eve. As they have done for most of the past many years, they are leading the service and presenting their play. We look forward to seeing you at worship at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve, December 24.  This will be a service of Word, Prayer and Song.

This will be our Candlelight Service as well. Come to hear the Good News. Come to support our youth.  Come to celebrate that Jesus Christ has been born for us.

Also note:  we will have our annual Festival Worship with Holy Communion on Christmas Day at 10 a.m.

Invite your friends and family.

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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

Upcoming Special Events

Thanksgiving HC BannerWe have many good things coming soon at MLLC in Carmine.  We invite you to be a part of the wide variety of activities and worship services which we offer.

What we do is to the glory of God, for the love of neighbor, and for the love of one another as God’s people.  What we plan is meant to facilitate your participation in this way of life.

Click this link for our upcoming events and festivals page.

If you need more information about these events please call the church office at 979-278-3388 or send an email to our pastor at pastordjt@industryinet.com

First Communion: Is my child ready to receive?

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First Communion Class begins March 9, 2014, at 10:15 a.m.

First Communion will be celebrated on Thursday, April 17, at our 7 p.m. Maundy Thursday Service.

If you would like your child to participate, please contact Pastor David Tinker.  pastordjt@industryinet.com or 979-278-3388

 

How do I know my child is ready to attend First Communion Class?

He/She may. . .

*have expressed interest in participating during worship, perhaps copying your movements at the altar

*have begun to ask questions about why we take Holy Communion

*have begun to reach for the Holy Communion elements which are offered to you

*have a foundation in Christ through attendance in Christian education or worship, or through family conversations, devotions or prayer

*be able to speak about God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) as loving and trustworthy

*pray the Lord’s Prayer and be able to say other simple prayers (such as at bedtime and meals)

 

The following questions can help you determine the readiness of your child to receive her or his first Holy Communion.

 

The most important question is about God’s gift of Grace for your child: 

***** Has your child been baptized?

If your child is not yet baptized, please speak with a pastor to set a date for your child to receive this Sacrament. It is understood that Holy Communion is for the baptized children of God.

 

Other questions to consider:

*Is your child comfortable in various locations around the church, like the altar?

*Does your child have a basic, age-appropriate awareness that God loves him or her?

*Does your child understand the idea of “right” and “wrong”, and can grasp the basic notion of “forgiveness”?

*Will your child extend his or her hands when asked to do so?

*Will your child be able to understand the basic concept that Holy Communion is a gift from God to each person?

*Does your child seem to have a basic trust that they are a child of God?

*Does your child seem interested in what goes on in church during Communion?

*Does your child interact enough with others to receive the bread and wine?

*Is your child aware enough of others in the congregation and their needs to show respect for the communion experience?

*Are you prepared to help make the process positive?

*Are you prepared to continue to fulfill the promises you made at your child’s baptism to bring him or her regularly to the Lord’s Table?

Only the first question requires a “Yes” before your child can be considered ready to receive his or her first communion. Use the others to generate discussion and to plan, in consultation with Pastor David Tinker, for your child’s preparation to begin receiving the sacrament and the gifts it brings.

Contact Pastor David Tinker if you have any questions about Holy Communion. He would be happy to help answer your questions.

 

 

Some history about changes in the practice First Holy Communion:

 

Over a generation ago (1969) many Lutheran congregations began separating First Communion from Confirmation. Thus, they began preparing children to receive their first communion when they reached fifth grade. Both the former American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the former Lutheran Church in America (LCA), predecessor church bodies of our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), affirmed this practice. In its 1989 publication “A Statement on Communion Practices” the ELCA affirmed the fifth grade and/or ten years of age as an appropriate and desirable guideline for when a young person, after appropriate preparation, may first commune. This is not the end of the story, so please read on.

However, it became apparent that focusing on a particular age as the primary criterion for determining when first communion is received did not adequately consider other important factors, e.g., a child’s maturity, a child’s experience in the church, a child’s family as a supportive context for faith, discipleship and understanding, etc.

After years of study and conversation, in 1997 the ELCA issued a new First Communion guideline as part of a larger document on the centrality of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion in the life of faith.

This document lifts up a biblical based Lutheran understanding of the Sacraments intended to help us avoid a “legalistic” and “mechanical” approach to how parents, pastors, and congregations raise up our children in the Christian faith. Regarding Holy Communion the statement recognizes that:

*“Baptized children may begin to commune on a regular basis at a time determined through mutual conversation that includes the pastor, the child, and the parents or sponsors involved, within the accepted practices of the congregation.”

*“Ordinarily this beginning will occur only when children can eat and drink, and can start to respond to the gift of Christ in the Supper.”

*“In all cases, participation in Holy Communion is accompanied by (instruction) appropriate to the age of the communicant.”

*“There is no command from our Lord regarding the age at which people should be baptized or first communed. Our practice is defined by Christ’s command (“Do this”), Christ’s twin promises of his presence for us and for our need, and the importance of good order in the Church. In all communion practices congregations strive to avoid both reducing the Lord’s Supper to an act effective by its mere performance without faith and narrowing faith to intellectual understanding of Christ’s presence and gifts.”

 

Notes from “The Use of the Means of Grace: A Statement on the Practice of Word and Sacrament”, Augsburg Fortress, 1997, pages 41-43.