|One Worship Service at 10:00am in our Sanctuary|
And so we jump from the manger to the Temple when Jesus is twelve years old. We’ll be going back to his childhood later, but in the meantime, we are faced with a Jesus who is very human – learning, debating, growing, looking rather like Samuel did when he was a boy. One of the toughest choices we will make in our faith is to really take the humanity of Jesus seriously. This is the challenge of this week as we come together for the last Sunday of 2018…As we worship the incarnate God, may we also encounter the human Jesus this week and beyond.
1 Samuel 2:18-20,26
Samuel grows under the care of Eli the priest, and his parents visit him annually when they come to the Tabernacle for the sacrifice.
Instruction on how those who have been chosen and forgiven by God should live – in compassion, harmony and peace.
Mary and Joseph accidentally leave Jesus behind in Jerusalem, and return to find him in the Temple in discussion with the religious teachers. Jesus is obedient and grows in wisdom and stature.
The humanity of the incarnate Christ has strong implications for our lives and ministry in our homes, communities, workplaces and neighborhoods. When we recognize the extent to which God is concerned for the details of our lives, when we really embrace the incarnate nature of Christ, we can no longer devalue the daily realities we must face. If incarnation becomes the basis for our lives, we cannot help but heed the call to be always growing and learning. We cannot help but view this life as more than just a test for eternity, but as having value in and of itself. This means that we must become just as concerned for the physical, emotional and mental well-being of those around us as we are for their spiritual well-being. It means that we can no longer live with a dualistic view of ourselves, but must embrace the essential unity of spirit, mind and body, of God and creation. In the light of this we will discover that following Jesus means that we get involved in play, companionship, advocacy, service and acts of generosity as much as we are engaged in worship and evangelism. Suddenly we discover that so-called “spiritual” pursuits are not separate from our normal “human” pursuits. And out of all of this we will find that following Jesus becomes something that engages every facet of our lives – our relationships, our learning, our work, our leisure, our money, our values, our ethics and, yes, our spirituality. The Christ who grew, who challenged, who debated, who ate and learned becomes a true model for how we choose to live our lives, and how we can best bring life to those around us.
We look at the example of Hannah, O God, as she dedicated her beloved son to the temple, and find our love wanting. We look at the courage of Samuel, Holy One, as he grew in wisdom and grace after his mother’s tearful good-bye, and confront our own timidness. We see the child Jesus in the temple, as he astounded the teachers with his understanding, and perceive just how lost we truly are.In the midst of our failings and struggles, Merciful One, help us be gentle with ourselves and with one another. Mold us into a people of compassion and kindness, a people of patience, mercy, and grace. Bathe us in the waters of your Spirit, that perfect harmony may wash over us, and we might swim in the waters of your love and forgiveness. Amen.
|10:00am Worship in the Sanctuary|
Ushers: Steve Anderson, Steve Flint, Rita Gronemeyer, Jeff Kaiser
Coffee And…: Hosted by Ginny Carlson
Reminder: Messenger Deadline approaching January 2!