This Sunday we observe The Baptism of Our Lord. It’s a big deal! Jesus’ baptism was such a big deal that the Father ripped open the heavens to say, “That’s my boy!” and the Holy Spirit even made a physical appearance as a dove. Just what was going on there? Until His baptism, Jesus kept pretty quiet. We know he was born in Bethlehem, escaped to Egypt, and grew up in Nazareth. We know when He was 12, he stayed behind in His Father’s house, the Temple. But now He is made known to the public, to Israel, as the Messiah, the Anointed One sent by God in fulfillment of all the Law and the Prophets. He is not a sinner but is baptized like one to show that He identifies with us. He takes our sin and makes it His own. Your sins are now Jesus’ sins for Him to die for and get rid of once and for all. Jesus’ Baptism marks the beginning of His public ministry and His mission to save us from our sins. Not just the children of Israel but the whole world, you and me included! When you and I were baptized, it was to wash away our sins. Our sins were, in a way, washed onto Jesus at His baptism where He took them as His burden to carry to Calvary and there cover them in His blood for good. Yep, the Baptism of Our Lord is a big deal indeed!
Ok, well, if you haven’t heard it yet, I finally got Covid. Where? How? Who knows. Probably from being out and about toward the end of Christmas break last week. It doesn’t really matter; I really think that it’s everywhere and probably just a matter of time before most people have a run in with it. First off, I feel great today. My symptoms were very, very mild and I was already feeling better by Wednesday. Still, I’m isolating for ten days. I expect to be back to school and church on Wednesday.
On another note, regarding the prostate cancer: my bone scan and CT scan were both very good (negative cancer spread). I spoke with a surgeon and have an office visit in a couple of weeks. He estimates that I would have surgery in the next 6-8 weeks. Thank you for your prayers!
A THANK YOU!
Thank you from me and all of our church and school staff for our Christmas Staff Gift! We are all very grateful for how well Zion looks after each of us!
Thank you to Pastor Steve Sward for covering this Sunday’s service on short notice. Pastor Sward recently retired as pastor of St. Paul, Harvard, and now resides in Kenosha.
Some calendar changes to be aware of due to my isolating and a trip scheduled next weekend:
Sunday, January 9 – NO 8am Bible Class and NO Learning the Faith; 9am Divine Service as usual.
Tuesday, January 11 and January 18 – NO Bible Class.
Sunday, January 16 – 8am Bible Class; 9am Divine Service; NO Learning the Faith.
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR PETER POLLACK
Wow! I got to talk to Peter today via Zoom. (See the pic below). He’s very slowly improving with the goal of being able to receive a lung transplant. Please pray that the transplant team will accept him in two weeks! You can continue to send your cards and letters of encouragement to him and Robin here:
Lutheran General Hospital MICU
Attn: Peter Pollack, Room 12
1775 Dempster Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068
MASKS IN WORSHIP
We are currently wearing our masks during worship. At this time there is no restriction on capacity or seating arrangements. Please consider the well-being of your neighbor most especially by staying home if you have any symptoms of illness. As always, you can get in touch with me to request a visit if you can’t be in church. Thank you for your patience and understanding and love of neighbor in all of this!
LIVE STREAM INFORMATION
You can watch live and find recorded services at the links below:
We stream live on our FACEBOOK PAGE HERE.
Our videos are also live and recorded on YOUTUBE HERE.
When sinners arrived at the Jordan River, they were baptized and left their sins, as it were, in the river. When Jesus is baptized, He comes out of the river covered in the sins of the world. And He’ll carry them to Calvary and leave them buried in His tomb on Easter. His Baptism kicks off that life and work of saving the world and you and me! Celebrate this gift in the Divine Service this week! See you when I’m out of isolation!
F.I.S.H. Food Pantry Donations this Sunday
The Christmas Cactus finally bloomed!
Download this week’s Bulletin, Daily Devotions, and NewsNotes from our website here: