Third Sunday after Epiphany
INTRODUCTION TO THE DAY
Jesus begins his public ministry by calling fishers to leave their nets and follow him. In Jesus the kingdom of God has come near. We who have walked in darkness have seen a great light. We see this light most profoundly in the cross—as God suffers with us and all who are oppressed by sickness, sin, or evil. Light dawns for us as we gather around the Word, the font, and the Holy table. We are then sent to share the good news that others may be “caught” in the net of God’s grace and mercy.
FIRST READING: Isaiah 9: 1-4
The northern tribes of Zebulon and Naphtali experienced the gloom of defeat by Assyrian military forces, but they are assured that their condition will be reversed when God makes a light-filled appearance. The joy they will experience will resemble celebrations of great harvests, because God will deliver them from everything that diminishes or oppresses them.
PSALM 27: 1, 5-13
SECOND READING: 1st Corinthians 1: 10-18
Paul calls on the Corinthians to end their dissensions and share the unified outlook of the Gospel. Discord arises when we forget that we belong not to human leaders or institutions but to Christ. Indeed, the unifying Word of the cross of Christ is the center of the Gospel and the power of God’s salvation.
GOSPEL: Matthew 4: 12-23
Jesus begins his public ministry shortly after John the Baptist is imprisoned by Herod. He proclaims the nearness of God’s reign and calls four fishermen to be his first disciples.
SOUPER BOWL COMING SOON
The Super Bowl will be played on February 2 this year, which is when we will have our annual SOUPER BOWL SUNDAY. We will collect a free-will offering after the service to send to the Lutheran World Hunger campaign. This year, (because we cannot collect cans conveniently) instead of collecting cans of soup, we are asking that monetary donations be made and ear-marked for Tim so that we can let the Food Pantry get the soup through their resources. We will still have our soup kettle out for offerings to go to Lutheran World Hunger.
We would also ask that you pray for the ministry of the Hunger Network in Ohio and Deacon Nick Bates (Nick@Hungernetohio.com) so that in the near future we can see the end of hunger especially for children.
Also, on the 2nd, we are planning a fun little gathering after worship. Please dress casual and wear your team colors and plan to stay after worship for some snacks (soups and snacks are welcome) and fellowship. Please plan to stay after church for a few minutes even if you don’t like football or don’t care who wins.
GOD'S WORK, OUR HANDS
As I write you this, many of our neighbors in the United States and around the world are facing disasters:
- In Australia, intense wildfires have been raging across the country. In New South Wales, more than 1,200 homes have been destroyed and nearly 9 million acres have burned. In Victoria, over 4,000 people were trapped by the bushfires, which forced them to take refuge along the beachfronts and in boats. The wildfire season is expected to get only worse due to the severe drought experienced throughout the country. Lutheran Disaster Response is sending a grant to the Lutheran Church in Australia so it can continue to respond immediately, providing food and other necessities.
- In Indonesia, heavy rain caused severe flooding and landslides in the greater Jakarta area. More than 60 lives were lost and close to 100,000 people lost their homes. The government opened 255 evacuation centers as temporary shelters for displaced families. Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP, the Batak Christian Protestant Church), a companion of the ELCA, opened a tent in Jakarta to provide free medical checkups to families affected by the flooding. HKBP also supplied cleaning materials to help communities remove debris and clean water-damaged homes. Lutheran Disaster Response is providing support to HKBP to continue the relief and recovery activities.
- In Puerto Rico, a series of earthquakes up to a 6.4 magnitude have killed at least one person and caused power outages and widespread damage. The earthquakes come as many residents of the U.S. territory are still recovering from the 2017 hurricanes, painstakingly repairing or rebuilding their damaged homes. Lutheran Disaster Response is communicating with the Caribbean Synod and Lutheran Social Services of Puerto Rico about the best way to support the recovery effort.
I’m writing to you with a special request: Donations to Lutheran Disaster Response’s general fund enable us to react quickly whenever and wherever disaster strikes, including at times such as these, when the need is great.
With gratitude for your partnership in ministry,
The Rev. Daniel Rift
Director, ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran Disaster Response Funding Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
“I lift up my eyes to the hills — from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2).
Please keep these people in your prayers: Esther Mae Baker, Pastor Larry Baker, Al Bausch, Dortha Feddern, Wesley and JoAnn Porter, and the family of Ellen Evans, Susie Taylor's mother. Please remember all of our shut-ins and sick. (Also, pray for the families and caretakers of those on the prayer list.)
THE BREAKFAST BUNCH
“The Breakfast Bunch” meets the first Saturday of every month at Der Dutchman in Plain City, at 8:30 a.m. “Come one, Come all” for a great breakfast, fellowship and more!
Please check the bulletin board behind the office door for all of the sign-up sheets for this year. Communion, birthday Sundays, and Worship Assistants/helpers. Thank you so much!
You can also remember special occasions or special people by contributing money that would normally be used for altar flowers. Instead the donation goes to our local food pantry.