|Messiah Lutheran Church||
6201 W Patterson Av
Chicago IL 60634
So, how was your 2013?
This past year, we saw many unexpected events in the world news, such as follows:
On February 28th, Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415 and the first to do so voluntarily since Celstine V in 1294.
On March 13th, Cardinal Jorge Mario Begglio (AKA “Francis”) became the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas and the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere.
On April 15th, two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon in Boston, killing 3 and injuring 264 others.
On June 24th, Bryan Bickell and Dave Bollard scored 17 seconds apart in the final 1:16 of the third period and the Chicago Black Hawks won their second Stanley Cup in four seasons with a stunning comeback 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins.
On July 22nd, Prince George was born.
On November 8th, typhoon Hayain, one of the strongest storms ever, hit the central Philippines, killing thousands.
On November 18th, 16 tornados touched down in Northwest Indiana and Illinois. The hardest hit, being the town of Washington, Illinois, leveling several hundred homes and killing one person.
No doubt your own life saw many unexpected events this past year, as well. Although some of these unexpected changes in our lives can be pleasant, often it is the case that “the best surprise is no surprise!” In fact, the Chinese saying, “May you live in interesting times” was considered a curse rather than a blessing.
Perhaps, that’s why sinful man will seek fortune tellers and psychics to predict the future, in order that they might prepare themselves for the unexpected changes and twists in this world.
Among some of these predictions for 2014 are:
The deaths of President Clinton and the Dali Lama.
President Obama’s legacy will be secured in that he has irrecoverably destroyed the health care system in America.
There will be a major crisis in the Middle East, which will lead to the end of the world.
Food and fuel prices will go up. Interest rates will go up. Except several major retailers to go bankrupt.
Kim Jun Un of North Korea will take a provocative action that will cause a crisis involving China and Japan. Because of a lack of US resolve, Japan will move closer to China.
There will be crop failures in various regions due to frigid temperatures. This will be blamed on global warming by climatologists. Definitely a case of politics over science.
There will be another 9/11 Islamist terrorist attack in the US. The attack will result from misplaced security due to political correctness. Definitely a case of politics over national security.
But, as one psychic warns at the end of his predictions: “These are only predictions. Do not blame the author or website for any personal loss if any of them do not come true.
One writer offers his more reliable prediction for 2014, as follows: The sun will set later and later until late June, after which it will set earlier and earlier. Temperatures will rise and fall accordingly, though with less predictability.
While, we may not know exactly how 2014 will turn out with all its upcoming ups and downs in the world, as well as in our personal lives. There is one constant we can rely on in the days ahead, namely, the love of God for us in Christ Jesus!
As the 8th chapter of Romans concludes: “Who will separate us from God’s love? Will sorrow, hardship, or persecution, hunger, nakedness, danger or a sword. So it is written: For you we are being killed all day long. We are considered sheep to be slaughtered. But in all this He who loved us helps us win an overwhelming victory. I’m convinced that no death or life, no angels or their rulers, nothing now or in the future, no powers, nothing above or below, or any other creature can ever separate us from God, who loves us in Christ Jesus, our Lord” (vs. 35-39).
We may not know the future, but knowing the One who holds the future, we can confidently face the uncertainty of the New Year, ahead!
May God continue to richly bless you this New Year in every way as you live in the love of God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Note: The following pledges are based on those found in the Lutheran Service Agenda, that have been spoken at one time or another, as part of the life of our congregation. I ask you to prayerfully reflect over these pledges for this New Year! During the month of January, we will be collecting the pledge forms that have been filled out by our members. On the first Sunday in February, we will then pray over these pledges that God the Holy Spirit will empower us to fulfill them in this New Year! May God bless all our members that we become more and more a blessing to one another, as well as to our neighbors!
I will support the work our gracious Lord has given Messiah with my prayers and the gifts God has given me.
I will continue to be instructed and nurtured in the Christian faith and life.
I will continue to hear and receive the instruction of my Lord, confess my sins, and receive the Lord’s Supper faithfully.
I will hear the Word of God and receive the Lord’s Supper faithfully in attending the Divine Worship Service.
I will live according to the Word of God, and in faith, word, and deed, remain true to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, even to death.
I will continue steadfast in the Confession of the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, drawn from the Scriptures, and as taught from the Small Catechism.
I will support the work of this congregation in making disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching according to our Lord’s mandate.
I will show our Pastor the love, honor, and obedience in the Lord that is owed to the shepherd and teacher placed over me by my Lord Jesus Christ, with the help of God.
I will support our Pastor by my gifts and pray for him always that in his labors that he may retain a cheerful spirit and that his ministry at Messiah may be abundantly blessed, with the help of God.
I will honor and uphold our Pastor as he serves Christ in all his God-pleasing responsibilities.
I will aid our Pastor as he cares for his family, with the help of God.
I will be diligent to “put the best construction on everything”, recognizing that “love covers a multitude of sins”, with the help of God.
I will support the Office of the Holy Ministry in order that the Word of may be preached and the Sacraments administered according to His institution.
I promise to support our congregational officers in their work, to remember them in my prayers, and to work with them to the best of the abilities that God has given me, so that He may be glorified and His work be done in our midst.
I promise to support our Sunday School Teachers and other Instructors in the Faith with my prayers, and to work with them to the best of my abilities that God has given me, so that He may be glorified and His work be done in our midst.
I will show our Lutheran School Teachers fitting love and honor, and support them by my gifts and fervent prayer, with the help of God.
I will join the parents, sponsors, and the whole Church in the responsibility and concern for the ongoing instruction and spiritual care of the young people of Messiah.
I will pray regularly for the Spiritual growth and care of Messiah’s Young people.
I will offer my counsel and aid that our young people may grow up to lead a godly life to the praise of honor of Jesus Christ.
I pledge myself to the catechesis of our children at Messiah that they may faithfully confess the faith, support and encourage them in their instruction and nurture, and pray for them that they might not fall away from Christ.
I will be an example of prayer and faithfulness in hearing the Word of God, receiving the Sacraments, confessing sin, and living by faith in Christ’s forgiveness with love toward others, that our children may learn from me to suffer under the cross of persecution and affliction with steadfastness, patience and joy, to the glory of the only true God; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
I will assist our parents in the grace of their own Baptism, that they may faithfully nurture their child(ren) in the knowledge and love of the Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit , one God, now and forever.
I will pray and encourage the husbands and wives at Messiah in their marriage, remembering at all times that God wills them to live within their vows until they are parted by death.
I will fulfill these Pledges in the year of our Lord, 2014, with the help of God:
Name: _______________________________________ Date: ________________
On February 15th, 2015, Messiah will celebrate its 90th anniversary. We are in the process of forming an anniversary committee to help us celebrate this event! Won’t you consider how you might contribute in marking this significant event in the life of Messiah?
Celebration not only keeps life from being hum-drum, boring, and needlessly repetitive, it enables us to discover again and again who we are, from whence we came, and what we need to be about in our daily lives. In remembering and doing the essential works of the Faith bound up in the sacraments and in the Sunday morning liturgy, we recapture the faith.
But, how should we celebrate? Some ideas for celebrating this event may include:
MiRan and I would like to thank the dear members of Messiah for your cards, encouraging words, and thoughtful presents in celebration of our Savior’s birth! May God bless Messiah , as together we serve our Risen Lord, in the New Year!
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