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Baptism of Our Lord (Year B)

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” As the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters, God spoke: “Let there be light.” And there was light!

Mark’s Gospel starts in a very similar way. In “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” God brings about the New Creation through the waters of baptism by the same Word and Spirit of God. When John the Baptist came, “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,” Jesus also came “and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

Though He had no sin, Jesus took His stand with sinners in His Baptism and took the sins and mortality of the world upon Himself. He was baptized into His own death, the sacrifice by which the heavens are opened and the Spirit is given to us. God the Father is well-pleased with His beloved Son and raises Him from the dead.

As we share His Baptism and are “united with Him in a death like His,” we also share His resurrection unto newness of life.

Pastor Nettleton's message (mp3)

Download the bulletin (pdf; available Saturday)

Epiphany Sunday (Year ABC)

The Feast of the Epiphany centers on the visit of the Magi from the East. In that respect it is the “thirteenth day” of Christmas, yet it also marks the beginning of a new liturgical season. Where Christmas has focused on the Incarnation of our Lord—God becoming flesh—the Epiphany and its season emphasize the manifestation, or revelation, of God in the flesh of Jesus Christ.

The Lord Himself has entered our darkness. He is the sun who rises with the brightness of His true Light. He causes His word, the Gospel, to be proclaimed to all the people of the earth, Jew and Gentile.

As the Magi were guided by the promises of Holy Scripture to find and worship the Christ-Child with His mother, so He also calls disciples from all nations, through the preaching of His Word, to find and worship Him within His Church.

Pastor Nettleton's message (mp3)

Download the bulletin (pdf; available Saturday)

First Sunday after Christmas (Year B)

The Lord causes “righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.” When Mary and Joseph brought the child Jesus to Jerusalem, Simeon praised God and blessed the parents by confessing the Cross for which this Child was appointed, and Anna “began to give thanks to God and to speak of Him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.” We, too, “greatly rejoice in the Lord,” because this child has clothed us “with the garments of salvation” and “with the robe of righteousness” and called us “by a new name.”

Guest Pastor Mark Demel’s message (mp3)

Download the bulletin (pdf; available Saturday)

Christmas Day

Today, the twenty-fifth day of December, unknown ages from the time when God created the heavens and the earth, and then formed man and woman in His own image; several thousand years after the flood, when God made the rainbow shine forth as a sign of the covenant; twenty-one centuries from the time of Abraham and Sarah; thirteen centuries after Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt; eleven-hundred years from the time of Ruth and the Judges; one-thousand years from the anointing of David as king; in the sixty-fifth week, according to the prophecy of Daniel; in the one-hundred-ninety-fourth Olympiad; the seven-hundred fifty-second year from the foundation of Rome; the forty-second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus; the whole world being at peace:

Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the Eternal Father, desiring to sanctify the world by His most merciful coming, being conceived by the Holy Spirit, and nine months having passed since His conception, was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the virgin, Mary.

Pastor Nettleton's message (mp3)

Download the bulletin (pdf; available Saturday)

Christmas Eve

Hark! The angelic hosts proclaim “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!” Heaven and earth rejoice on this night because the glory of the blessed Trinity is manifested in the human birth of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Father’s grace, mercy and peace rest upon the world in the form of this little child. The silence of death is broken by the “good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” All we who have gone astray like lost and wandering sheep, who have “walked in the darkness” of doubt and fear and sinful unbelief, behold “a great light” in the nativity of Immanuel, “God with us.

In Christ, “the grace of God has appeared.” For this Child of Mary who is born for us, this dear Son of God who is given to us, will bear the burden of our sin and death in His own body on the cross. He thereby establishes a government of peace, “with justice and with righteousness,” which shall have no end; not by any work of any human but by the “the zeal of the Lord of hosts.

Pastor Nettleton's message (mp3)

Download the bulletin (pdf; available Saturday)

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