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The Promise of the Good Shepherd — This week at ELC

sheep

 

During this Advent season we look ahead to the coming of the Good Shepherd who will care for all of us from the least to the greatest.

Worship this week:  Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

9:30 a.m. – Sunday School, Adult Bible Study and fellowship

10:30 a.m. – Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week:  The promised Good Shepherd – December 9, 2018

SHARE:   What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

Monday, Psalm 23,  The Lord is my shepherd

Tuesday, Isaiah 40:11 The Lord will tend the flock

Wednesday, Psalm 28:8-9  The Lord will save his flock

Thursday, Jeremiah 23:1-4 The Lord will replace bad shepherds

Friday, John 10:11 Jesus the Good Shepherd

Saturday, Matthew 2:4-6  Herod is told of the coming shepherd

Go to clergystuff.com/daily-devotions for devotions on the daily readings.

TALK:  Consider some of these ideas:

    I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. 16I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak    — Ezekiel 34:15-16

God speaks against abusive rulers or “shepherds.” God will be the good shepherd who brings back the lost.          

  • God holds a high standard for those who lead, mostly focused on the care of the ‘least of these’. How are leaders judged in our society?
  • In what way can we embody the characteristics of our ‘shepherd’ in seeking the lost, and healing the injured?
  • For the littles: What do you do that shows kindness to others? God asks us to be just (fair), kind, and humble (not selfish).

PRAY:  God, you have sent Jesus to be our shepherd.  Even as we prepare for his coming into our world, help us to embody his loving care for others.

BLESS:  May you know the promised presence of the Good Shepherd.

Living in Faith — This week at ELC

Habakkuk

The people of Israel have been exiled, and their pain runs deep, but they kept faith and also worked hard for justice in their own corners of the world. We also may endure hard times, but we are to still be active in God’s mission of mercy, justice, and peace as we await the coming of our Savior!

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, Adult Bible Study, Fellowship

10:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week:  December 2, 2018 – Habakkuk

SHARE:   What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

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

TALK:  Consider some of these ideas:

2Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. 3For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.                                                 Habakkuk 2:2-3

Habakkuk cannot bear the injustice he sees in the world, with seemingly no relief in sight. Where is God when one needs a swift and almighty solution? We might well ask the same.

  • In what ways is your community in exile? 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?
  • How can you stand out as a sign of God’s promise to those around you?

PRAY:  God, we are sometimes impatient for you to act according to your vision for the earth. Give us wisdom to see your will unfolding, and boldness to be a part of your solution. In Jesus’ name,  Amen.

BLESS:  May God lift you up on sad days. Amen.

Do not be afraid of them — This week at ELC

Jere 1 8

Despite his excuses, Jeremiah is still called to speak God’s Word. What
might God be calling you to do? (no excuses)

Worship this week:   

Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship

9:30 a.m. Sunday School, Adult Bible Study and Fellowship

10:30 a.m. – Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week:  Jeremiah’s Temple Sermon – November 25, 2018

SHARE:   What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

Monday, Jeremiah 7:16-34, The People’s Disobedience

Tuesday, Jeremiah 8:18-9:11, The Prophet Mourns for the People

Wednesday, Jeremiah 10:1-10, Idolatry Has Brought Ruin on Israel

Thursday, Jeremiah 10:11-16, Idolatry Has Brought Ruin on Israel

Friday, Jeremiah 10:17-25, The Coming Exile

Saturday, Jeremiah 11:1-17, Israel and Judah Have Broken the Covenant

 TALK:  Consider some of these ideas:

Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you.”                             (Jeremiah 1:4-7)

 Jeremiah has been entrusted with a monumental prophetic task. But alas, how could one so young and inexperienced possibly fulfill such a role? If only such excuses worked with God…

  • What evidence have you seen that God remains faithful to people today, despite people’s inability to remain faithful to God?
  • When you were a child, what did you believe you would do to make the world a better place? What can you do now to make the world a better place?
  • For the littles: What can you do better than an adult?

 PRAY:  O Lord, you desire just actions and not words alone. Grant us the strength to walk our talk, and prove faithful followers of the Lord of justice, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 BLESS: May God trust you like God trusts a child. Amen.

 

“Swords into plowshares” — This week at ELC

SwordsIn the midst of dark days, Isaiah proclaims that God will overcome the
powers those threaten Israel. Can we continue to proclaim God’s power in our own dark days?

Worship this week with Holy Communion:

Saturday -5:00 p.m. in the Chapel

Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional Worship with Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld preaching

9:30 a.m. Sunday School, Fellowship, Adult Study

10:30 a.m. – Contemporary Worship

Devotions for this week:  Swords into Plowshares – November 18, 2018

SHARE:   What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?

READ: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding

Monday, Isaiah 36:4-12, Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem

Tuesday, Isaiah 37:8-13, Hezekiah Consults Isaiah

Wednesday, Isaiah 37:14-29, Hezekiah’s Prayer

Thursday, Isaiah 37:30-38, Sennacherib’s Defeat and Death

Friday, Isaiah 38:1-22, Hezekiah’s Illness

Saturday, Isaiah 39:1-8, Envoys from Babylon Welcomed

TALK:  Consider some of these ideas:

In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” (Isaiah 2:2-3a)

Israel now faces defeat at the hands of the Assyrian army. King Hezekiah is in a panic. But Isaiah has the long vision.

  • How do you suppose God decides how to arbitrate when communities are at odds with each other?
  • When have you trusted in God at a time when trusting took great courage? How did it turn out?
  • For the littles: Would you rather climb a tall mountain or swim in a deep ocean? Why?

PRAY:  Dear God, though the way ahead may seem uncertain, our fortunes are in your hands. Give us patience and vision to see what future you have for us, for we put our trust in you, Lord. Amen.

BLESS:  May God rejoice with you on the mountaintop. Amen.