Messages from Pastor Fred

Sunday, January 17, 2021
Second Sunday after Epiphany

Introduction

All the baptized have a calling in God’s world. God calls not just pastors and deacons but also the youngest child, like Samuel. The story of the calling of Nathanael plays with the idea of place. Nathanael initially dismisses Jesus because he comes from Nazareth. But where we come from isn’t important; it’s where—or rather whom—we come to. Jesus refers to Jacob, who had a vision in a place he called “the house of God, and . . . the gate of heaven” (Gen. 28:17). Jesus says he himself is the place where Nathanael will meet God.

Readings and Psalm

1 Samuel 3:1-10 [11-20]  The calling of Samuel
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18  You have searched me out and known me. (Ps. 139:1)
1 Corinthians 6:12-20  Glorify God in your body
John 1:43-51  The calling of the first disciples

Read the full Sunday Bulletin here.


Sunday, January 10, 2021
Baptism of Our Lord

Introduction

Our re-creation in baptism is an image of the Genesis creation, where the Spirit of God moved over the waters. Both Mark’s gospel and the story in Acts make clear that it is the Spirit’s movement that distinguishes Jesus’ baptism from John’s. The Spirit has come upon us as upon Jesus and the Ephesians, calling us God’s beloved children and setting us on Jesus’ mission to re-create the world in the image of God’s vision of justice and peace.

Readings and Psalm

Genesis 1:1-5God creates light God creates light
Psalm 29The voice of the Lord is upon the waters. (Ps. 29:3)
Acts 19:1-7Baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus
Mark 1:4-11Revelation of Christ as God’s servant

Read the full Sunday Bulletin here.


Sunday, January 3, 2021
Second Sunday of Christmas

Introduction

Within the gospel reading’s profound words lies the simple message that God is revealed in a human person. Though we may try to understand how the Word existed with God from the beginning of time, the wonder we celebrate at Christmas is that the Word continues to dwell among us. Christ comes among us in the gathered assembly, the scriptures, the waters of new birth, and the bread and the wine. Through these ordinary gifts we receive the fullness of God’s grace and truth.

Readings and Psalms

Jeremiah 31:7-14  Joy at the gathering of God’s scattered flock
Psalm 147:12-20Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion. (Ps. 147:12)
Ephesians 1:3-14  The will of God made known in Christ
John 1:[1-9] 10-18God with us: the incarnation of the Word

Read the full Sunday Bulletin here.


Sunday, December 27, 2020
1st Sunday of Christmas – Service of Lessons and Carols

Introduction

The psalmist calls on the natural world, celestial bodies, fire and earth, creatures, and all humanity, to praise God. The voices of Simeon and 84-year-old Anna join the chorus today, recognizing what God is doing in Jesus. Simeon’s song is often sung after communion, for we have seen God’s salvation in the assembled community and have held Jesus in our hands in the bread. Then, like the prophet Anna, we tell of Jesus to all who look for the healing of the world.

Readings and Psalm

Isaiah 61:10–62:3Clothed in garments of salvation
Psalm 148The splendor of the Lord is over earth and heaven. (Ps. 148:13)
Galatians 4:4-7Children and heirs of God
Luke 2:22-40The presentation of the child

Follow the service in the bulletin here

A special service from St Luke Lutheran was not recorded this weekend, but members and friends are invited to share in the Virginia Synod Service of Lessons and Carols, below, also using the bulletin link above.


Thursday, December 24, 2020
Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Eve

Introduction

In winter’s deepest night, we welcome the light of the Christ child. Isaiah declares that the light of the long-promised king will illumine the world and bring endless peace and justice. Paul reminds us that the grace of God through Jesus Christ brings salvation to all people. The angels declare that Jesus’ birth is good and joyful news for everyone, including lowly shepherds. Filled with the light that shines in our lives, we go forth to share the light of Christ with the whole world.

Readings and Psalm

Isaiah 9:2-7  Light shines: a child is born for us
Psalm 96  Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad. (Ps. 96:11)
Titus 2:11-14  The grace of God has appeared
Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]  God with us

Read the full Christmas Eve Bulletin here.


Advent WreathSunday, December 20th, 2020
Fourth Sunday in Advent

Introduction

God keeps the promise made to David to give him an everlasting throne. The angel tells Mary that God will give David’s throne to her son Jesus. She is perplexed by Gabriel’s greeting and by the news of her coming pregnancy, but she is able still to say, “Count me in.” We who know that Jesus is called king only as he is executed still find it a mystery hard to fathom, but with Mary today we hear the news of what God is up to and say, “Count us in.”

Readings and Psalm

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16The Lord’s promise to David
Luke 1:46b-55You, Lord, have lifted up the lowly. (Lk. 1:52)
Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26 (alternate)  Your love, O Lord, forever will I sing. (Ps. 89:1)
Romans 16:25-27The mystery of God revealed in Jesus Christ
Luke 1:26-38The angel appears to Mary

Read the full Sunday Bulletin here.


130503481_432614841449870_2422767034248692726_nSunday, December 13th, 2020
Third Sunday in Advent

Introduction

“Rejoice always,” begins the reading from 1 Thessalonians. Isaiah and the psalmist make clear that God is turning our mourning into laughter and shouts of joy. “All God’s children got a robe,” go the words of a spiritual. It is not so much a stately, formal, pressed outfit as it is a set of party clothes, clothes we are happy to wear. We receive that robe in baptism, and in worship we gather for a foretaste of God’s party.

Readings and Psalm

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11Righteousness and praise flourish like a garden
Psalm 126The Lord has done great things for us. (Ps. 126:3)
Luke 1:46b-55 (alternate)  You, Lord, have lifted up the lowly. (Lk. 1:52)
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24Kept in faith until the coming of Christ
John 1:6-8, 19-28A witness to the light

Read the full Sunday Bulletin here.


Sunday, December 6th, 2020
Second Sunday in Advent

Introduction

John calls people to repent, to clear the decks, to completely reorder their lives so that nothing gets in the way of the Lord’s coming. The reading from Isaiah gives the context for this radical call: the assurance of forgiveness that encourages us to repent; the promise that the coming one will be gentle with the little ones. Isaiah calls us all to be heralds with John, to lift up our voices fearlessly and say, “See, your God is coming!” We say it to one another in worship, in order to say it with our lives in a world in need of justice and peace.

Readings and Psalm

Isaiah 40:1-11Good news of God’s coming to a people in exile
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13Righteousness shall prepare a pathway for God. (Ps. 85:13)
2 Peter 3:8-15aWaiting for and hastening the day of God
Mark 1:1-8John appears from the wilderness

Read the full Sunday Bulletin here.


1st in AdventSunday, November 29nd, 2020
First Sunday in Advent

Introduction

Stir up your power, and come! The psalmist’s plea in Psalm 80:2 has become familiar to us in the Advent prayers. Isaiah wants God to rip the heavens open. Both cry out for an apparently distant, angry God to show up, to save, to restore. When we hear Jesus describing the coming of the Son of Man with stars falling from heaven, it can sound dire and horrible, not like anything we would ever hope for. But when we really look at the suffering of people God loves, we can share the hope that God would tear open the heavens and come.

Readings and Psalm

Isaiah 64:1-9Prayer that God would come with power and compassion
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19  Let your face shine upon us, and we shall be saved. (Ps. 80:7)
1 Corinthians 1:3-9Gifts of grace sustain those who wait for the end
Mark 13:24-37The sudden coming of the Son of Man

Read the full Sunday Bulletin here.


Sunday, November 22nd, 2020
Christ the King

Introduction

On this final Sunday of the church year our gospel is Jesus’ great story of judgment. In the end, the faithful are those who served Christ by ministering to those who are poor, hungry, naked, sick, or estranged. In the first reading God is the shepherd who seeks the lost, weak, and injured and feeds them with justice. We gather this day to celebrate the reign of Christ and his victory over death, yet we await the consummation of all things yet to come. Acknowledging Christ as our merciful ruler, we go forth that his reign may be known in our loving words and deeds.

Readings and Psalm

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24God will shepherd Israel
Psalm 95:1-7aWe are the people of God’s pasture and the sheep of God’s hand. (Ps. 95:7)
Ephesians 1:15-23The reign of Christ
Matthew 25:31-46The coming of the Son of Man; the separation of sheep and goats

Read the full Sunday Bulletin here.


Sunday, November 15, 2020
24th After Pentecost

Introduction

Our readings during November speak of the end times. Zephaniah proclaims that the coming day of the LORD will be filled with wrath and distress. Paul says it will come like a thief in the night and urges us to be awake and sober. Jesus tells the parable of the talents, calling us to use our gifts, while we still have time, for the greater and common good. In a world filled with violence and despair, we gather around signs of hope—word, water, bread, and wine—eager to welcome the good news of Christ’s coming among us.

Readings and Psalm

Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18The day of the Lord
Psalm 90:1-8 [9-11] 12So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. (Ps. 90:12)
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11Be alert for the day of the Lord
Matthew 25:14-30The story of the slaves entrusted with talents

Read the full Sunday Bulletin here.


Sunday, November 8, 2020
23rd After Pentecost

Introduction

Today the prophet Amos calls for justice to roll down like waters. Paul urges us to encourage one another with the promised coming of the Lord. Jesus tells the parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids. Surrounded by the faithful of every time and place, we celebrate Christ’s coming in our midst in the word of life and the feast of victory—the marriage feast of the lamb.

Readings and Psalm

Amos 5:18-24  Let justice roll down like waters
Psalm 70  You are my helper and my deliverer; O Lord, do not tarry. (Ps. 70:5)
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18  The promise of the resurrection
Matthew 25:1-13  The story of the wise and foolish bridesmaids

Read the full Sunday Bulletin here.

Due to technical issues, we were unable to log on to Facebook this morning. Therefore., there was no recording of the Worship Service today.

Sunday, November 1, 2020
All Saints’ Day

Introduction

All Saints celebrates the baptized people of God, living and dead, who are the body of Christ. As
November heralds the dying of the landscape in many northern regions, the readings and liturgy call us to remember all who have died in Christ and whose baptism is complete. At the Lord’s table we gather with the faithful of every time and place, trusting that the promises of God will be fulfilled and that all tears will be wiped away in the new Jerusalem.

Readings and Psalm

Revelation 7:9-17  The multitude from every nation
Psalm 34:1-10, 22 Praise for Deliverance from Trouble
John 3:1-3 Nicodemus Visit Jesus
Matthew 5:1-12 The Beatitudes

Read the full Sunday Bulletin here.