Today marks the festival of the Epiphany, the day we listen to the story of the three wise men who followed the light of a most unusual star to a stable where they found a most unusual baby, Jesus, the Son of God and Savior of the world. During the church season of Epiphany, which lasts seven weeks, we will celebrate the spreading of Christ's light to the whole world. It is fitting that this season of enlightenment coincides with the increasing amount of light in our days as we move toward springtime!
This coming Sunday, the Church remembers the Baptism of Our Lord. It will be an extra special day here at Shepherd of the Valley, as we also celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Baptism for Emery May Garcia at the 11 o'clock service. Baptisms are an occasion for all of us to recall and reclaim our own baptism. The Old Testament lesson appointed for this Sunday reminds us that our re-creation in baptism is an image of the Genesis creation, where the Spirit/wind moved over the waters (Genesis 1:1-5). Our lesson from Mark's gospel (Mark 1:4-11) makes it clear that it is the Spirit's movement that distinguishes Jesus' baptism from John's. The Spirit has come upon us as it did upon Jesus, calling us God's beloved children and sending us out on Jesus' mission to re-create the world in the image of God's vision of justice and peace.
Prayer of the Day
Holy God, creator of light and giver of goodness, your voice moves over the waters. Immerse us in your grace, and transform us by your Spirit, that we may follow after your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Thank you so much to everyone at Shepherd of the Valley for all your thoughtful Christmas gifts and your warm wishes!
Yours in Christ,
· Don't forget: Congregational budget meeting this Sunday, Jan. 11, 9:40-10:50 am.
· The Call Committee is excited to introduce you to a pastoral candidate whom they interviewed recently. Please mark your calendar for Sunday, January 25th at 6 pm here at Shepherd of the Valley.
In our prayers:
· SOV's Call Committee—prayers for wisdom and guidance, as they prepare for the congregational meet and greet on January 25th;
· SOV's next pastor (God knows who this is!)—prayers for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as he or she discerns God's call;
· Prayers for safety and wisdom for all who serve in the military;
· Prayers for strength and guidance for all who are caring for loved ones;
Prayers for strength and guidance for all who are unemployed.