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PLUM Churches:

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Newletter

January 2019

 

Dear Partners in Ministry,

 

As we head into the new year, I would like to share with you the following message adapted from an ELCA article.

 

When a baptized Christian affirms the faith (often called confirmation) the presiding minister addresses those making public affirmation of baptism and asks the question: Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism: to live among God’s faithful people, to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper, to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth?  And they respond: We do, and ask God to help and guide us.  And so begins a daily claiming and re-discovering of the God-given gifts of discipleship.

 

Epiphany is an ideal season of the church year to emphasize living our baptism and to re-discover these gifts of discipleship.  Commitments are made in New Year’s resolutions, often relating to health and well-being.  But what about our spiritual health and well-being?  What commitments do we make to claim the gifts of discipleship?

 

The church celebrates the day of Epiphany on January 6, twelve days after Christmas.  This festival day recalls the story (found only in Matthew) of the wise men who came from the East searching for a king born under a star.  They met with King Herod in Jerusalem and learned that a king was to be born in Bethlehem.  Herod directed them to continue their search for this new king.  “When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.  On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage.  Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.” (Matthew 2:10-12)

 

The wise men risked much and traveled far to pay homage to the king born under a star in Bethlehem.  They came offering their gifts, only to be overcome with joy, not grasping that it was Jesus who provides the greater gift to the world.  Aha!  God was revealed to the wise men!  We experience similar “Aha moments” when we say, “So that is what God is up to!” as we discover and claim the gifts of discipleship in our baptism.  How has Christ been made known to you today?

 

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Jocelyn

         

   
 

Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM), 405 Kennedy Avenue, Duquesne, PA 15110        412-466-7773