December 10, 2013

This Sunday, as we continue our consideration of the opening verses of each of the four gospels, we turn to Luke 1: 1-21. In these verses the main characters are Zechariah, a priest in the Jerusalem Temple, and his wife, Elizabeth. Though they are good people they are a childless couple. Their status is both a personal disappointment  and a source of shame in their community. Behind their backs people whispered about what they might have done to deserve this shame. Though they were well known, they were likely kept on the boundaries of community life. Their pain was cause for exclusion.

Luke tells us that God acted and blessed this couple with a child, John.  John, whowas the cousin of Jesus would become John the Baptist, the one called to cry out in the wilderness and so prepare the way of the LORD. Through the birth of John God acted to remove a barrier to belonging for Zechariah and Elizabeth. This will be a continuing theme in Luke’s gospel.  As he tells his story of Jesus we see God acting through Jesus to remove the barriers to belonging commonly experienced by many. The shepherds who came to the manger, Zaccheus the tax collector who climbed up in a tree, Simon the Cyrene who helped Jesus carry his cross and broken Peter who denied Jesus three times, are example of this theme.

Prayers of the Congregation

  • The Mandela family, the people of South Africa, and citizens of the nations as we celebrate the amazing life of Nelson Mandela.
  • The Ceasefire Call-in LABC will host this Wednesday evening
  • All who are ill
  • All who are grieving
  • All who are lonely
  • All who are without a place to live
  • All who are seeking employment
  • All who are caring for another person
  • All who are serving their country and their community
  • All who are providing essential services
  • All who sing, speak, teach and listen in a way that encourages others
  • All who are taking tests and writing papers
  • All who are fasting for a Pathway to Citizenship
  • All who are trying to restore broken relationships

Announcements

Forever Young invites young and old alike to join them for their Christmas luncheon this Saturday, December 14 at 12:30. Please call Sandra Lee to RSVP and please bring an under $10 gift.

The Forum Sunday will be about the Affordable Care Act with a particular focus on how to sign up. Please be reminded that if you need to sign up for a health care insurance plan you must do so by December 23 in order to guarantee that you will have coverage on January 1. For more information go to www.coveredca.com