From the Desk of Pastor Lassman
My Fellow Redeemed in Christ, “X-MAS”
What was your response to the title of this article “X-Mas”? During the Christmas Season you might see this in stores or Christmas tree lots. If I may be given permission to speculate, I would guess that most church-going Christian don’t like it. Why not? Well, it seems to take “Christ out of Christmas”. It seems that a meaningless “X” takes the place of the meaningful “Christ”. But where did this practice come from? Why is it that an “X” takes the place of “Christ”? Those who have attended the Adult Information Class know what it means. The answer is to be found in the Greek spelling of Christ. Why Greek? Because the New Testament was written in Greek. So, in Greek the name “Christ” looks like this: Χριστος (Christos). You’ll notice that the first letter looks like letter “X” in the English alphabet. Actually in Greek it is called “Chi” (pronounced “ki). Christians might sometimes assume that X-mas came into practice because of the desire of secularists and non-Christians in our society to rid “Christ” from the name. But this is not true. During the 16th century, Europeans began using the first initial of Christ's name, "X" in place of the word Christ in Christmas as a shorthand form of the word. The Oxford English Dictionary documents the use of this abbreviation back to 1551—long before secularism and political correctness came to America. Although the early Christians understood that X stood for Christ's name, later Christians who did not understand the Greek language mistook "Xmas" as a sign of disrespect. May I suggest that during this Season you can use this interesting history of “X-mas” as a way to talk about the meaning of Christmas with others?
And while we’re at it—what about the word “mas” in “Christmas”. Where did that come from? It is based on the ancient Latin liturgy of the city of Rome, now used in most, but not all, Roman Catholic churches. The term Mass [Lat. missa,=dismissed] probably derives from the practice of dismissing the catechumens—those not yet initiated into the mystery of the Eucharist—before the offertory and from the words Ite, missa est [Go, you are dismissed] spoken to the faithful at the end of the Mass. So, “Christmas” would be the liturgy that celebrates the birth of Jesus--- “Christ’s Mass”. The first reference to the birth of Christ using the term “Christmas” was in 1038 in England as “Cristes Maesse”.
In the Church Year the earliest observance of Christmas probably does not date earlier than A.D. 200 and did not become widespread until the 4th century. Easter has always been the most important holiday in the Church Calendar, but in more modern times the secular additions of Santa Claus and the commercial element has made Christmas overshadow Easter in our culture. This is why Christmas cannot be properly celebrated in a “Christian sense” unless it is connected with Good Friday and Easter.
At any rate, we are entering the Season of Advent and “X-mas” will be here soon! In the midst of all the Christmas festivities we especially focus on why Christ came into our world: to be our Savior.
A GUIDE TO THE DIVINE SERVICE: THE PRAYER OF THE CHURCH
Last month we discussed the Creeds of the Church and now we turn to the Prayer of the Church. Prayer is an opportunity and privilege to speak to the Creator because of His Son Who has reconciled us to Him. Not only are we allowed to speak to God but because of Jesus Christ we are invited to call Him “Father”, expecting even more love and care than we would expect from a dedicated human father or mother. Prayer is not our chance to manipulate, convince, or negotiate with God. Rather, prayer is our opportunity to speak the things that cause us pain, sorrow, fear as well as joy and thankfulness. It is our time to lean on God and be lifted up by Him. As small children can go to their father or mother to find comfort and security, prayer is our time to be embraced by God our Father, coming to Him as the source of our comfort and help.
Historically, the Prayer of the Church was a generalized prayer that was intended to be broad in its scope. And this is still true today. In this prayer we come before God as His people, His church, to pray for the needs of the church, our nation, and the world. The Prayer of the Church is very ancient going all the way back to the New Testament Church and the worship of those early Christians as Paul writes: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim 2: 1, 2, ESV). In Acts 2: 42 we have a description of an early worship service that include the prayers of the church: “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (ESV). The Pastor offers the prayers to God on behalf of God’s people who give their assent to their prayers with their responses of “Hear our prayer” and “Amen”.
Next Month our subject will be the Offering and the Offertory.
MIDWEEK ADVENT SCHEDULE
“The Women of Advent/Christmas”
December 7 Mary: Receiving God’s gift in faith
December 14 Anna: Devotion to God’s gift
Liturgy: Evening Prayer, Hymnal Supplement, ’98.
Time: Dinner at 6:00 p.m. and Service at 7:00 p.m.
December 24 Christmas Eve Candle Light Service at 7:30 p.m.
December 25 Christmas Day is Sunday and we will have our normal schedule for the Divine Services at 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. with the structure of Divine Service One with some of the liturgy being replaced with appropriate words and music for Christmas. The only difference will be the education hour at 9:20. Some teachers will be available for Sunday School, but there will be no adult or High school class.
New Year’s Eve
December 31 at 7:30 p.m. Liturgy: Evening Prayer, Hymnal Supplement ’98.
From the Office of Pastor Mankin
Greetings in Christ Jesus,
The other day one of our wonderful children at Messiah asked me an innocent question, “How old are you?” Instead of just telling her, for the first time in my memory I had to stop and think about it. Later, I was thinking to myself, why didn’t I know how old I was? I came to this conclusion; it was because I had not made a big deal of my birthday this last year. It’s funny that as we age our birthday seems to become less and less important to us. In fact, some of us don’t even want to think about it or admit we are a year older. We know that every year is just one year closer to the end. What a depressing thought! I may never want to celebrate a birthday again. After your 20’s, why would anyone look forward to getting older? No one likes to think about or experience the ravages of sin that result in old age. That’s it NO MORE BIRTHDAYS!
But wait, I can think of one person that still likes us to recognize and remember his birthday and he’s over 2000 years old. Of course I’m writing about Jesus! Jesus was born over 2000 years ago and we still celebrating his birthday every year. Now, we don’t know for sure when Jesus was born, but December 25th is the day we celebrate his birth. After all these years he still celebrates with us. In fact, Jesus loves us so much that he lets us celebrate his birthday twice each year. First, in December when he came down and took on human flesh we celebrate his birth at Christmas. Second, in the Spring when he overcame death and was “reborn” or resurrected never to die again on Easter.
This first celebration has a sad element to it, because we know why he was born and how he would die. But we still celebrate his birth because we know his second birth has given life to us all. So let’s have a joyous Christmas this year, celebrating the birthday of God that became man to take away our sins so that we too can look forward to all birthdays with joy knowing that we will have a second “birthday”. Let’s sing carols, wish people ‘Merry Christmas’, come together for worship, and give each other gifts. However, we joyfully remember that the greatest gift we have this year, and every year, is the one the birthday babe gave to us, peace with God and eternal life. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!
Advent marks the beginning of a new Church year in which we prepare for and celebrate the nativity of Christ, Christmas. This year, Junior High and High School youth are invited to go out each Wednesday night during Advent for dessert, fellowship, and fun, after the Wednesday night services.
The Youth are sponsoring a food drive for the Lake City Food bank. We will be collecting dried foods (such as pastas, rice, etc.), canned foods, and boxed cereals, through December 18th. Please look for the collection bin in the Narthex.
SUNDAY SCHOOL NEWS FOR OCTOBER
SUNDAY SCHOOL NEWS
SAVE THE DATE - INVITE A FRIEND
JOIN the SUNDAY SCHOOL on
DECEMBER 18th at 9:20 a.m.
WHEN ALL SCRIPTURE, SIGNS, SONGS, AND SYMBOLS LEAD TO:
“CHRISTMAS PAST AND PRESENT”
Parents please remember our practice is Saturday morning the 17th from 9:45 to 11:15
INFORMATION FROM HERE & THERE…….
January 2012 Messenger Deadline is December 18.
Men's Night Out - Monday December 5, at 6:00 p.m. at Romano's Macaroni Grill 401 NE Northgate Way. Please RSVP to Brian Danforth.
The Choir for Concordia University in Portland will be on Spring Tour in March of 2012. They will be singing at Messiah on March 25 (Sunday) at 7:00 p.m. There will be around 48/49 people. Please put this on your calendar and attend if you can.
As in the past we will be asking members of Messiah to open their homes to these students to spend that night and prepare a sack lunch for Monday. We will also need to provide a meal for early Sunday night.
If you are available to help out, please sign up on the upstairs bulletin board.
Pillowcase Dresses - Please bring completed pillowcase dresses on Sunday, Dec 11. Bev Edmon will mail them to Gail Ludvigson who will take them to Africa in January. So far we have over 60 dresses to send with her. Thank you for supporting this continuing project.
Fall Clean Up was held on Saturday, November 12 and we had a great turnout! Those that participated were really energetic and helpful! Not only were we able to clean various areas inside the Church, but we were able to tackle a few large landscape projects. A "thank you" goes out to the following participants: Larry and Nancy Bourn, Josh and Rochelle Pemberton, Ron Redmond, Harry Edmon, Brian Reid, Kathy Lassman, Ken Deaver, Roland Grober, Terry Miske, Michael Boomhower, Dorothy Bellin and Bob Zimmerman.
Submitted by: Justin Bourn
Would you like to volunteer at church? We are currently looking for greeters, ushers, readers, and drivers. If you are interested, please call the church office at 206.524.0024.
Do you crochet? When we have a baptism here at Messiah, the babies are given a beautiful little 4 inch cross made out of crochet cotton. This is a wonderful keepsake but we are running low. If you might be interested, stop by the office to look at the instructions or call for more information. 206.524.0024.
Mary Martha will not be meeting in December, but will start the Women’s Bible study again on January 9, 7:00 p.m in the choir room.
CONCORDIA LUTHERAN SCHOOL
Save the Date
Concordia Lutheran School’s
Saturday, March 31, 2012
"New way or old way" is the question that is asked every morning as my sons and I begin our commute. This morning we decided to head the new way, a travel plan that we have established since the viaduct was closed for a week. It was smooth sailing all the way to Concordia. I guess it is important to have a choice, to decide which direction to go according to the traffic or the weather. I think we have a terrific opportunity here at Concordia to approach everyday, the new way or the old way. Do we grow from the day before or continue on the same path? Taking the time to share and teach children that this undeserved love of Jesus - Grace is a cornerstone of our environment. Choices for children and adults are not always easy because sometimes the choice is not quite expected, but knowing that we are loved unconditionally relieves the pressure, not the consequence, but the pressure. "New way or old way" another choice for our drive seems as if the new way works a bit better, but I would not have known about it without the mess of the "viaduct". It’s funny how hardship and uncontrollable circumstances lead our path to a better solution or a more encouraging road.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and thank you for all you do!!
Dec 2 - Parent's Night Out - 5-9 pm in the Concordia Gym - This is a Cardinal Team fundraiser for their Washington DC trip in the Spring of 2012.
Dec 8 – Kid’s Christmas Sale - Our annual kid's Christmas sale is coming soon! If you have items around your home that are new or nearly new that you can donate to this wonderful event, please bring them to the school marked Kid's Christmas sale.
Dec 13 - Christmas Program - 6:30 pm in the school gym - "Christmas Snapshots"
Dec 16 - Early dismiss - Christmas Break
Basketball Home Game Schedule:
Dec 5 - HOME game vs. Hope - 4:30 pm
Dec 15 - HOME game vs. Shorewood Christian - 3:30 pm
Greetings from Azerbaijan:
The Sunday before Thanksgiving, I received a gift for which I am most thankful. I attended services at the German Lutheran Church in Baku! It was uplifting--and also quite interesting: the sermon and most of the service was in Russian! But all of the hymns and prayers were in both Russian and German. Afterwards, I introduced myself and met some wonderful people. They invited me to their offices for coffee hour, which here in Azerbaijan is actually "tea hour," since hardly anyone drinks coffee, but tea is very common. I found out that a German pastor will come in December and preach in German, but it will still be translated into Russian. Many can speak and understand some German, but Russian or Azerbaijani is what is most readily understood by the members of this congregation. Many are descendants of German immigrants from at least 150 years ago. Occasionally the congregation takes an outing to some of the old German villages in Azerbaijan, and they promised to inform me the next time that happens. In the meantime, I am now on their email list, and will be kept informed. By Peace Corps policy, I am restricted on how often I can travel until spring, but I am happy to have made this connection, and hope to make it to Baku for Christmas Eve services. One of the members of this congregation whom I met is an Azerbaijani woman who teaches German in Baku in a high school, and another a British woman who has lived in Baku since 1997 and worked for the BBC. They have been very kind and welcoming to me, and we had great visits.
Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving, blessed Advent, and a Merry Christmas!
Your friend in Christ,
Member of Messiah
Peace Corps Volunteer, Azerbaijan
Praise the Lord! It's finally happening. Arrangements are underway to send me to Liberia on January 14-February 18. I'll be working with the Liberian Translation and Literacy Organization (LIBTRALO) on literacy materials and grant-writing skills. The field supervisor gave me a book on Liberian English as homework--now all I need is an audio recording so I can practice before I get there.
My first speaking engagement went well--thanks for your prayers. If you were in Bible class on November 20, you saw part of it. I've offered to return and do another presentation at the same school when I get back from Liberia. I hope I can do the same for all of you at Messiah. Here's something for you to think and pray about--of the 6,904 spoken languages in the world, 64% (4,430) have no Scripture at all! Worldwide, an estimated 350 million people claim one of these 4,430 languages as their mother tongue. That’s more than the population of the U.S. and Canada.
God has been very good to me. I received excellent evaluations from both my supervisors. Because my senior supervisor, Mike, travels so much, LBT assigned Sharon to supervise my daily work. They're both a delight to work with, and they've taught me a lot. Sharon has been a missionary personnel supervisor at LBT for 20 years and has a wealth of knowledge about LBT's mission and ministry. Mike has 25 years experience in development and has served as the LBT principal gifts officer for two years.
If you would like to send me something by regular mail, you can use my office address until May 16, 2012: c/o Lutheran Bible Translators, P. O. Box 2050, Aurora, IL 60507-2050. I will have to return to Fort Wayne by May 16, as the deaconess call service is on May 17, with graduation following on May 18.
Being home at Thanksgiving was such a shot in the arm--thank you for all your prayers, kind words and hugs. I will miss being with you at Christmas but hope to see you in the spring. In the meantime, may the Savior of the nations warm your homes and your celebrations with His everlasting love and grace!
Your sister in Christ,
Lutheran Women’s Missionary League
Ladies’ Guild - “Annual Lunch at a Restaurant”
• Wednesday, December 14, 2011
• Wedgwood Broiler
(There will not be a December meeting at church)
• NO meeting in December
• Next Meeting will be Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Annual Silver Advent Tea 4 – 6:00 p.m.
“Let All the Earth Rejoice”
Sunday, December 4th, 2011 at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd (East Union at 22nd Avenue)
For more information, please call 206.325.2733
For the month of December we will be collecting shaving creams, razors, and after shave for Immanuel Community Services and Compass Cascade Women's Shelter. Please place these items in the lounge basket. They will be very thankful to receive these necessary items.
Last month we collected 30 toothpaste, 15 toothbrushes and 18 body lotions. Thank you to everyone who contributed.
A GREAT BIG "THANK YOU" FROM FIRST PLACE SCHOOL
Over the past couple of years you have been so generous in donating to the school supply drive, that even after filling all the bags or backpacks we had available for Lutheran World Relief, we still had school supplies left over. In mid-November, 5 boxes and 1 bag of these excess supplies were taken to First Place School (a school for homeless children) and they say "THANK YOU VERY MUCH"!
JUST A REMINDER
Memberships in Good Shepherd Auxiliary are due January 1, 2012. Dues are $5.00 per year and all money goes to support our homes for the mentally challenged residents. You may give your money to LaurAnn Radosevich or send it to Joyce Scramlin at 10035 132nd NE, Kirkland, WA 98033.
July and August 2010