Ask the right question this Christmas!

Sometimes it’s all about asking the right question. The Gospel of Matthew records Herod’s interaction with the magi in chapter two. Verse 2 sets the stage, as these travelers ask, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Herod’s reaction shows that he was obsessed with where he could find this person the magi were seeking. His go-to for knowledge was the Jewish scholars. Since these magi were looking for a Jewish king, it was logical to check with the Jewish authorities, and there were probably none better than the Jewish scribes They would have been well-versed in the Old Testament, Jewish literature and history.

Which leads us to an important point that Matthew really wants us to get from this story. If you want to locate Jesus, you have to have the Scriptures. We don’t know how the wise men got their information that there was this king coming. God is telling us that we don’t need to know that. It’s not important. What is important is they could only go so far without the Bible. They were, in fact, lost. That’s why they were in Jerusalem.

If you understand and apply this, it can be very encouraging. The Messiah was so close—Bethlehem was less than 6 miles away, but they couldn’t see that without the Bible. Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? A shrewd king and some brilliant Jewish and Gentile scholars met together to answer this question, but they would have been clueless if it weren’t for the Word of God.

Matthew wants us to clearly understand that the most reliable source for finding Jesus is the Bible. And God was very gracious to show them the answer. It’s a very comforting truth that the Lord will lead us to Him through the Bible. All their wisdom and political power wasn’t as important as the Word of God. They were lost without the Word and I think everybody is.

Now Herod is preoccupied with the question: “Where is this king of the Jews?” For the magi, however, what really drives them is the question: “Who is this King?” And that, ultimately, is the right question to ask. What if Herod had asked the scribes, “Who?” They might have read more from Micah 5:

2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times…3 when she who is in labor bears a son…He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be our peace.” Micah 5:2-5 (NIV)

The simple truth is that when we find Jesus Christ in the word of God, we find more and more beautiful things. Like it says in verse four above, He will stand with us. He stands beside you, closer than you know, as close as the word of God. He shepherds his flock. We are to live securely because of his greatness. There is a peace of heart and mind that comes from faith in Jesus. The prophet Micah saw nothing that could break His peace.

Herod didn’t seem to find this, but the wise men did. When we goes further to find Jesus through the Word, we will be amazed at the gifts of peace and blessings that he brings into our lives. This is why the wise men went on their way rejoicing. They found the gift of Jesus. God’s great goal is that His Son be known and worshiped.

Over and over, the Bible piques our curiosity about just how certain things happened. How did this star get the magi from the east to Jerusalem? The irony of the magi is that we could ask all sorts of marginal questions about the magi and about the star, but not ask the most important question: “Who is Jesus?” Find him in the Word. Make him the King of your heart and let his rule give you peace. Let your life be a testimony of who he is.

Have a blessed Christmas,

Pastor Shawn

Parenting Seminar-October 12, 2021 starting at 7:00 pm via Zoom

Please join Wee Disciples Preschool and Real Life Families for a parenting seminar entitled:
Go Family!  9 Practical Ways to Bring More Team Unity in our Homes    
This world needs stronger families and it starts in our homes and the relationships that we build within it.  Building a strong family takes time, energy, prayer, patience, love, balance, discipline, and teamwork.  In this Parenting Seminar Christine Leeb, author of Go Family!, will:  

· Teach strategies for helping your kids feel like they belong  

· Share practical, powerful, and even a little crazy-creative ideas for inviting cooperation into your everyday life  

· Empower you with relationship-building tools to establish  a team environment in your home  

Register by October 10, 2021 by emailing Zoom Invites will be sent on October 11th.

First Chapel

On Wednesday, September, 16, Pastor Shawn visited Wee Disciples Preschool for some Jesus and Me time. It was our first Chapel of the year and first Chapel since COVID-19 appeared. We are so blessed to be able to begin this activity again. Thank You, Pastor Shawn!

How Do You See God

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31 (NIV)

Jesus was talking with the religious leaders one day and they asked him about his teaching. They were asking Him about following God and being faithful to God. You see they were taught, as it says in your Gospel reading from Mark:, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” They couldn’t figure out, however, how Jesus fits into that command.

And of course, they accepted the command to: “Love their neighbor as themselves.” You can remember the story of the good Samaritan, because they really wanted to know, and define exactly who “a neighbor” is. You see, they wondered about the Gentiles and maybe the tax collectors and other people that they thought were unclean.

So, Jesus told him in John chapter 5, verse 39: “you study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life, but these are the very Scriptures that testify about me.”

At the beginning of the Gospel of John, John makes it very clear that Jesus himself is the Word of God. In John chapter 1, verse 14, we have, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

Jesus is saying to us, if you look at the Bible and you only see Moses you’ve missed it. If you look at the Bible you just see a bunch of rules and commandments, you missed it. If you look at the Bible, and you just see principles for living, how to be happy and joyous or how to be prosperous, make money, or how to be healthy or whatever, you missed it. But if you see Jesus, you got it!

As Martin Luther taught, you will see Jesus reaching out to you, loving you, caring for you, speaking to you, guiding you as you read its pages through the Spirit. You’ll learn and inwardly digest the words. And not unlike anything that you inwardly digest, that’s healthy for you, it’s going to strengthen you in the love of Jesus Christ.

This is a lifetime adventure of living God’s salvation. Living a life of love in Jesus Christ, through Jesus Christ in the Spirit and through the Word. Please don’t get sidetracked with all the times you’ve might not have done that; where you’ve failed. It’s only the devil in your flesh that would want to distract you in such a way. We need to look to Jesus. He’s given our lives back to us to live them for Him. He is patient loving and kind and most of all, he is forgiving and encouraging. That’s what God looks like; that’s the way that he wants us to see Him; and, and that’s why he took on flesh and blood in Jesus.

So, as a word of encouragement, to look up to and follow Jesus, check out this video entitled, “What Does God Look Like.” As the expression goes, “a picture tells a thousand words.” God bless you in living a life of love in Christ. May the Lord help you to love ever more in Christ.

Butterfly Fun at Wee Disciples

Wee Disciples Preschool watched caterpillars change into butterflies over the past few weeks of school. It is an exciting and amazing example of God’s wonderful work! Today, Friday, September 10, 2021, we sent our Butterflies out into the world.

Living in the Light of Christ

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:8‑20 (NIV)

So as you think about these verses from Ephesians consider; one, it’s the Holy Spirit speaking to you like a map program in your car, giving you the guidance that you need. And two, it’s Christ’s way of witnessing to the world through how you live. This is what Jesus is getting to when He says: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.” Matthew 5:14-15 (NIV)

Paul gives three, very helpful examples for us to see what it’s like when the Holy Spirit is guiding us as we walk with the Lord.

  1. It’s going to affect the way that we talk to others. The text says, “addressing one another.” Our God can change the way that we speak to others. It’s a powerful promise that we can trust God for. God gives us peace and love to speak to each other in ways and words that come from His Spirit. So, if you’re challenged in this area, personally or perhaps with the family situation that you’re in, take heart, the Lord wants to help you. The Lord understands who you are and the situation that you’re in, but He also wants to speak into that situation, if you’ll let Him. Here’s a video that shows one man’s dealing with speaking to others: Leave_a_Legacy.mp4
  2. The Spirit changes the way that we talk to ourselves, “singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” Singing praise to God makes you strong in faith. “O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love” (Psalm 59:17, ESV).
  3. Then, with that in mind, the guidance of the Holy Spirit speaking to us affects the way we talk to God. The text says, “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Isn’t it wonderful to know that God in Christ has made a most amazing promise to believers? Jesus said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself” (Matthew 6:34, CEV). The reason why Jesus could say this is because He is Lord of all. We give thanks, because we trust God. He will keep us and His Spirit will strengthen our character because He is love.

Our Regular Fall Voters' Meeting was held on November 14, 2021. Please contact the Trinity Office if you would like a copy of the minutes. We'll update this link next when we have details regarding our upcoming Regular Spring Voters' Meeting. God bless you and may the Lord continue to bless our ministries!