St John's Lutheran Church, La Grange IL 60525 (LCMS)

St. John's Lutheran Church and School
47th Street and Brainard Avenue, La Grange, Illinois 60525

 
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Epiphany Reflections
January 8, 2012

Last week, I shared in this journal my desire for 2012 to be "The Year of the Prayer Warrior." I cannot think of a greater and more effective activism to bless our world than for the followers of Jesus to be in prayer.

From time to time, I'd like to use this column to make some connections with various ways that we can put the discipline of prayer into practice, to heighten our awareness of prayer concerns and to connect us with other disciples in prayers. I’d like to begin the New Year with what we are fond of calling a “Judean” connection. Judea is the term we use for prayers in and around the neighborhood. Part of that neighborhood is the fellowship we share with the Northern Illinois District of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Our district has thousands of prayer warriors praying for a revival of new believers. Guided by a mission to initiate new ministry ventures of outreach, our joint motto is, “new starts, new believers.” At St. John’s our weekly print edition of "Daily Prayer" includes a prayer item that connects us to a prayer concern that thousands in Northern Illinois are praying for. This is usually a part of the section we call, “Prayers for Our Community and the World.”

Even as we pray here together at St. John’s, you can also commit to being one of the many prayer warriors among our Lutheran partners. You can do so through the “Prayer Guide” link on their web site (www.ni.lcms.org).

Last Friday marked the beginning of the season of Epiphany for Christians around the world. The word “Epiphany” means “to make more clearly known.” Specifically, this season is one in which we Meet Jesus through a renewed devotion to the Word of God. It is why we are launching a new series of children, youth and adult studies this week and next. Those who pray are never far from the word of their master. That should be an Epiphany!

I want to encourage you to make this New Year a time to take a step deeper into the Word of God. While that step will be unique for each of us, I would also commend you to Experience the Support of the Church by engaging at least part of that time with God’s word in a group environment. We grow in our quiet time and we grow in community. Jesus taught and lived both in a dynamic that is for us an Epiphany!

Epiphany is also a time that emphasizes Jesus calling his disciples to follow him and to participate in what he is doing in ministry. We Live as Disciples by being those prayer warriors who bless the people we encounter each day, taking every opportunity to invoke the name of Jesus and offer prayer for them. The church council and elders have been reading and discussing this very calling in recent and upcoming meetings. They have been engaging and looking for opportunities to use all the resources we have, and most especially prayer, to be more engaged in outreach, more developing of people and their gifts, more seeking of the kingdom of God. Our study and prayers together are an Epiphany!

As we celebrate the Epiphany and the Baptism of Jesus this weekend, I invite you to join in this prayer which many others in Northern Illinois are praying and asking for themselves and the church.

Father in Heaven, at the baptism of Jesus you declared him to be your beloved Son with whom you are well pleased. Help us who have been baptized in his name to bring his saving love to as many new people as possible through New Starts...New Believers.

May this year produce epiphanies which will result in new starts and new believers among us!

 

 

(c)2012 St. John's Lutheran Church and School | 505 S Park RD | La Grange IL 60525 www.sjlagrange.com
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Pastor's Blogs

Bill Geis has led a variety of missional ministries for over 20 years. He has served as senior pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church in La Grange, Illinois since 2004. He is the proud father of teenage daughters, Erica and Monica. His partner in ministry and in marriage, Sandi Geis, serves with him on the team at St. John's as prayer ministry leader, devotional writer and music teacher. He has a passion and calling to rally Christian communities and disciples to help people Meet Jesus in authentic and life changing ways.

 
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