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FROM THE SENIOR PASTOR – JANUARY 2014

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:5
“We have observed his star at its rising, and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2
“All kings shall bow down before him.” Psalm 72:11

These are some of the verses which emphasize the importance of the manifestation of God that we celebrate on Epiphany. This year, Christ the King will have a worship service on the festival day called the Epiphany of Our Lord, at 7 PM on Monday, January 6th. After worshipping God and growing in faith through the 12 days of the Christmas liturgical church season, the season of Epiphany will begin with a celebration of God’s revelation in the person of Jesus Christ to the world. I encourage you to come and hear the account of the magi as they travel by following a star to honor the King.

Throughout the weeks after our worship on the festival day of Epiphany, much of our scripture texts will focus on transitions and preparatory times in the life of Jesus while setting the stage for an emphasis on the Sermon on the Mount. As the darkness and cold of winter descends upon us, I invite you to discover the light of Christ that cannot be overcome. As we gather together to make use of the means of grace in the word and the sacraments, the fullness and richness of the ways God becomes manifest to us and the world will be revealed as “epiphanies.” On January 19th, Christ the King will participate in a pulpit exchange as part of the Twinsburg Ministerial Association for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. On January 22nd at 7 PM, the congregation of SS. Cosmas and Damian will host an ecumenical worship service focused on the topic of Christian unity. These are chances that you will have to glimpse the reality of God’s mission being expressed through our shared witness to the light of Christ that shines brightly in our midst.

I invite you to take the time to read God’s Word, to speak and listen to God in prayer, to worship God with joy and thanksgiving, and to lean into the promises God has made for you by forgiving others and accepting their forgiveness. I would like to share with you an ancient prayer written by Ambrose. Lord, who hast mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of the Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore thee, a heart to delight in thee, to follow and to enjoy thee, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

Living in God’s amazing grace,

Pastor Matthew Groenke

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