A light to the nations — This week at ELC

joyThis week we hear the promise of the coming of God’s servant, who will bring new hope and healing to the world.  We still prepare to welcome God’s healing and hope to our lives  this day!

Worship this week:

Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

9:30 a.m. Sunday School

10:30 a.m. — Sunday School Christmas program

Devotions for the week:

December 14, 2014                                               “A light to the nations”

The book of Isaiah was written for three distinct time periods. Chapters 1-39 were written about the period when the Northern Kingdom of Israel fell to Assyria. Its message was of warning of exile. Chapters 40-55 were written during the time of exile in Babylonia. It was a dark time for Israel and the message was one of waiting and hope. Chapters 56-66 were written after the people had returned from exile, and praised God for God’s goodness and faithfulness to God’s people.

Isaiah 42 is one of four “servant songs.” In these servant songs God promises that an unknown servant would come and administer justice to the nations. This is a message of hope for an exiled people, not only that they would be saved, but that they would be exalted to a position to bless all the nations with justice.

Follow the book of Isaiah, as the prophet proclaims salvation to Israel.

Sunday, Isaiah 42:1-9, Light to the Nations

Monday, Isaiah 42:10-20, A Hymn of Praise

Tuesday, Isaiah 42:21-25, Israel’s Disobedience

Wednesday, Isaiah 43:1-7, Restoration and Protection Promised

Thursday, Isaiah 43:8-21, Restoration and Protection Promised

Friday, Isaiah 43:22-28, Restoration and Protection Promised

Saturday, Isaiah 44:1-8, God’s Blessing on Israel

  • Where is God in this story? How are God’s promises fulfilled?
  • Who in your community lives in darkness? How can you shine light on those living in darkness?
  • How does God’s light shine through you? How do people know you follow God?

Do:By acting on what we learn, we make God’s word come alive. Do the following activity this week. Spend 10% of your Christmas gift budget on people outside your family/friend circles. Donate to your church or buy gifts for those who cannot afford gifts.

Come Home for Peace — This week at ELC

Dec 7

God works in situations we can’t always imagine, but calls people to act when the moment is right. What have we been called to do in such a time as this?

Worship this week with Holy Communion:

Saturday  – 5:00 p.m. in the Chapel
Sunday  -  8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship
9:30 a.m. Sunday School
10:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship

Devotions for the week:
December 7, 2014                                               “For such a time as this”

Reflect: [Modecai said,] And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14b

Study:   King Ahasuerus was ruler over Persia at the time of the exile. Having eliminated one queen, Vashti, for refusing to degrade herself in front of his drunken feast’s guests, the King chose Esther to become his new queen. Queen Esther was a beautiful Jewish woman. King Ahasuerus promoted a man named Haman above even the princes. One day while Haman entered the king’s gate he passed by Mordecai, a Jew. Mordecai refused to bow to Haman because Jews bowed only to Yahweh. Haman became enraged and plotted to have Mordecai killed.

   Haman approached the king and requested the king’s approval to put out a bounty and a decree that all Jews would be put to death.

   Mordecai put on sackcloth and sat in ash – a traditional form of Jewish lament. He then turned to his niece, Esther, who had become queen, for help. He implored her to ask the king to change his mind. Esther feared a wrathful reply. Mordecai reminded her that God may have put her in the king’s house for such a time as this. Esther agreed, and the king agreed to her request, and the Jews were saved.

Read: Sunday, Esther 4:1-17, Esther

Monday, Esther 1:1-22, King Ahasuerus Deposes Queen Vashti

Tuesday, Esther 2:1-23, Esther Becomes Queen

Wednesday, Esther 3:1-15, Haman Undertakes to Destroy the Jews

Thursday, Esther 5:1-14, Esther’s Banquet, Haman’s Plans

Friday, Esther 6:1-14, The King Honors Mordecai

Saturday, Esther 7:1—8:17, Esther Saves the Jews

  • How did God use Esther to save God’s people? Where was God present, explicitly and implicitly in this story?
  • How is beauty celebrated in your culture or community? How is beauty advantageous? How is it detrimental?

·         Where will you look for evidence of God’s presence in your life?

Special Combined worship this Sunday at 10:00 a.m.

come home for hopeAs we begin the Advent season we look forward to God’s redemption, joining our expectations to those of Habakkuk and many other who have longed for the coming Messiah.

Worship this weekend – Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in Chapel

Sunday – Combined worship at 10:00 a.m.

Devotions for the week:

November 30, 2014             “Faith as a Way of Life”

Habakkuk was a prophet who spoke to Jerusalem when it was just about to fall to Babylonian exile. The people had not believed they could be conquered, and yet exile was at their doorstep. Their faith in God wavered, and they questioned where God was.

God responded to Habakkuk’s plea, “How long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?” God’s response promised that those who live by faith can endure great suffering. God suggested faith as a way of life. Faith is stronger than despair.  God gives them hope for a new day!

Read:  Follow the book of Habakkuk, as the prophet proclaims both judgment and the promise of restoration.

Sunday, Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:2-4; 3:17-19, Faith as a Way of Life

Monday, Habakkuk 1:5-11, The Prophet’s Complaint

Tuesday, Habakkuk 1:12—2:1, The Prophet’s Complaint

Wednesday, Habakkuk 2:5-14, The Woes of the Wicked

Thursday, Habakkuk 2:15-20, The Woes of the Wicked

Friday, Habakkuk 3:1-7, The Woes of the Wicked

Saturday, Habakkuk 3:8-16, The Woes of the Wicked

  • What was God doing here?
  • How were the people’s actions punished or rewarded?
  • Where do you feel your community is isolated from God? Where do you feel it is close to God?
  • When has your faith in God been tested? In what ways have your beliefs changed as you learn and grow?

Bless: Close your devotion with a blessing.

God our strength, we rejoice in you as we hear your word. Speak faith and patience to us today. Amen.