As we prepare for worship this weekend we do so mindful of our country's recognition of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's impact on our nation as a voice for equality and peace. Dr. King was a man whose vision for our world and sense of call in his own life was undergirded by a faith in God that compelled him to integrate his beliefs with the actions of his life. May that be our prayer for each one of us...that in worship we would become better equipped to fuse together that which we believe and the actions of our lives.
A REMINDER: We have been sharing our excitement about our church’s involvement in Night to Shine, a prom experience for people 14 and older who have developmental/special needs. It is a powerful and amazing opportunity for God’s love to be made tangibly real in the lives of hundreds of families. You can learn more about the event itself [happening on Friday, February 8th at the Alameda County Fairgrounds] and explore different ways for you to volunteer by clicking here.
We hope you will consider being a part of our church’s team of volunteers! You can also sign up to volunteer this Sunday after both worship services.
Grace & Peace,
This week's worship information:
Sermon Series: Coffee Talk ~ Conversations on Faith
Sunday's Message: Instruments of Change
Scripture [first text is the focus of the sermon. ]:
Matthew 2 [Selected verses]
Questions for reflection:
•How are you seeing/experiencing God at work in your life and/or in our community?
• When it comes to your faith in God, what are the fears/concerns you have that hinder your ability to live in the reality of God's love?
• What do you know of the life & legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr? What can we learn from his life that can inform the ways in which we work for and seek justice & equality in our community/world?
•What are the ways/practices/activities in which you are strengthened in your faith? As you look at your schedule right now, are those practices a regular part of your life?
Matthew 2 [Selected verses]
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising,and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
“And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’
Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
‘With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with tens of thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?’
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?