Greetings children of God.

Luke 4:18-19, 21 – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

I once read a story about a man who was thankful for a stranger. Apparently the man’s mother lived in a northerly state and was on her way to work one frigid, winter morning after a snow storm and before the plows had been out. As she exited the highway onto a county road, the car’s engine died. She popped the hood, hoping to find a simple solution but to no avail. She got back into the car but the few drivers that passed by either didn’t see her or want to stop. Realizing she needed help, she walked back to the main highway. The first car didn’t stop, but the second one did; the driver was on his way to work. He took the time to look at the woman’s car but couldn’t get it running, so he took her back to her house, even though it made him late for work.

The man was thankful for the driver because he did a simple but crucial thing; he stopped when he was needed. When there’s a wind chill that will freeze your skin in a matter of minutes, several inches of snow on the ground and no warm place to seek shelter, a person needs help, now; not tomorrow, but today. Jesus has an important word about the importance of today, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke uses “today” in a few other places; the angel announces that, “Today is born in the city of David a Savior,” Jesus tells Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house,” and on the cross Jesus tells the one criminal, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Our world is full of people who have never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ. These people are lonely, hurting and suffering. They need help now. They need help today. If you happen to encounter one of these people, I encourage you to do the simple, crucial thing and stop when you’re needed; share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them today because tomorrow may be too late.

Our annual congregational meeting and celebration of how God has worked in and through us over the last year will be this Sunday January 23 after our 2nd service. We will have a potluck meal. There is a signup sheet on the bulletin board in the coatroom. If you will attend the meeting, please let us know how many will be attending and what you will be bringing to share. And if you aren’t able to bring anything, still come and join us.

Sunday January 30 is the 5th Sunday of the month. This means we will only have one (1) service at 9am. This will also be when we have our 2nd congregational meeting for the Vision Team’s efforts in revising our mission statement. In October, we looked at the history of Faith Lutheran Church. This time will be a Scriptural gathering and we ask you to please bring your Bible with you as we will be sharing those passages in the Bible that we have a deep, personal connection with. You may like a certain Scripture because it was your grandma’s favorite or maybe because it was used in your wedding, or maybe it was your confirmation verse. For this meal, we will have more breakfast type items to eat. There is a sign-up sheet in the coatroom, if you will attend; please let us know how many so we can make sure we have enough food.

Also in the coatroom is a sign-up sheet for those interested in helping to serve as an usher during worship. Our hope is to create several teams that would be responsible for ushering 2 months out of the year (like the early service in January and June. If you would like to sign up for this, please indicate which service you would prefer.

God’s blessings,

Pastor Tim