Working Together So That All Experience Gracious Invitation Into Life-giving Christian Community
Welcome to the Gethsemane Lutheran Church Newsletter. As 2022 unfolds, and we continue to bring you information virtually, we welcome all who are members of Gethsemane, as well as those who are discovering us for the first time, to join us in our mission journey. We hope to keep you up-to-date in these times of amazing change for our church community. Feel free to forward the newsletter to others and give us the emails of those you think my wish to connect with us and see what great things God is doing with our church each week!
The Camden Shop is Open!

The Camden Shop is now open! After a short prayer of blessing, we opened the doors and shoppers found clothing and housewares that they needed. We are so excited about how this place will help our friends in the Camden neighborhood! Spread the word, and come say hello!

We are open every Saturday of the month at Gethsemane from 12-3pm
Editor's Corner: Claimed By The Potter

“And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads.” – Revelation 22:4

I just finished reading a book called Thumbprint in the Clay: Divine Marks of Beauty, Order and Grace, by Christian writer and poet, Luci Shaw. In its beautifully written, and highly theological pages, the author writes about the many different ways we and the universe are imprinted upon by God, and in turn, how we imprint on the world, and how we imprint on one another. She begins her first chapter by writing about her own unique coffee mug collection (gathered from around the world), and a specific one that has a thumbprint left on the clay of its handle made (and sealed in a kiln) by the potter who crafted it. She makes an analogy of how God, the ultimate Potter has crafted us and claimed us, with many Divine markings, imprints, and grace.

The meaning of imprint is to impress or stamp, to mark, or to press on something softer so that an outline is reproduced. Since childhood, we’ve learned you must sign your papers, your tests, and turn over your pictures to pen your name; whatever you make, you put your name on it. Many professional artists and craftsmen stamp, sign, or even press their thumbprints onto their creations to claim them—to show who made the painting, the sculpture, their handiwork. Throughout history these identifications were the most authentic ways for them to prove their ownership of their unique creations. And, if you watch the Antique Roadshow (like I do), you how the experts search rare items for those signature imprints to identify the creator, to determine the value, and validate authenticity. Similarly, writers sign their books, create personal dedications, copywrite their work (screenwriters even pay to certify their scripts), so that it all belongs forever to them. No one can ever say otherwise. These imprints show a claiming of, a belonging to, a purposeful and knowing authorship of. And all those who look upon these markings, see the authenticity. 

I recently read that everyone has a unique thumbprint. No one in the whole world has your specific pattern of ridges and lines, and swirls; not even twins have the same ones— yours are forever your own. These uniquenesses are given to us by God our creator, the ultimate artisan; each set of fingerprints just for us—as in each body, each mind, each personality, each set of gifts, is uniquely ours. Yes, we may have similarities: hold similar features, values, make similar choices, enjoy similar hobbies, share a similar faith, and love of our Savior. But we have different fingerprints proving that God made us each unique, individually created for a specific purpose in our lives.

“Just as each thumbprint is unique, its pattern inscribed on the work of our hands and minds, the Creator’s is even more so—the original thumbprint on the universe…” Lucy Shaw*

Now, picture what God promises in Revelations: that someday we will see God’s face, but not only that, because his name is imprinted on our foreheads, we will be recognized and rightly claimed. How amazing is it that God cared enough about us in his creation, and salvation, to make sure that we were imprinted with his signature. We are stamped, copywrited, we are marked upon, sealed by the hand of God. For me, this is a marvelous feeling…to know I am created and claimed by the Potter, imprinted forever, by my Lord and Savior. Alleluia!

* Thumbprint in the Clay, Luci Shaw, p. 25

The Camden Promise: Weekly Food shelf Schedule

Food Giveaway Schedule into 2021:
The Camden Promise Food Shelf feeds boxes of food to community families 6 days a week at noon: Monday through Saturday.

All are welcome!
Gospel Reading: Matthew 2:1-12
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 

2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 

4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 

5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 

8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 

10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 

11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 

12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
Weekly Message: Go to Where the Light Shines
Epiphany is the season of overwhelming joy. During this season, because of what God has done for us, we can know true joy. Not just any joy. This joy is not like a smile or something that brightens your day. This joy is something that is overwhelming and completely fills your heart. 

The word epiphany comes from the Greek work meaning to fill and complete. This feeling is similar to the commercials that advertise V8 energy drink. The mixture of fruits and vegetables in a can supposedly change your whole day, and having the regret of not consuming a V8 represents a lack of joy or happiness. This is similar to the joy felt from Jesus Christ. He is something that is so filling and complete, it just reminds you of the kind of joy that is for us. This is what we remember on epiphany.

We also celebrate the season of lights and the light that came into the world and that has brightened our way. We recognize that Jesus shows us who God is and what He wants for us; to live as people of grace, love and forgiveness. That is what God wants for us and what we celebrate this time every year. We are in this time of the church year when we say the light has shined into the darkness of this world.

In the second chapter of Matthew, the wisemen had no idea where they were going when they went to go see Jesus. They were not from around town or even from the same country, but they had heard of the prophecy and saw the star of David. They saw that light. They went into Jerusalem and talked to Herod and had no idea of what was going to happen, but searched for the light anyway. They had faith. They had courage.

That is a good testimony for you and me. When we go to look for the light of Jesus, we have to have the courage to see it. We have to have the courage to get on our own camels and go find it. It is the exercise of epiphany; to go and see where God is shinning in the world. We should be just like those three wisemen and have the courage to go where the light is. As they followed that light, the wisemen found Jesus and they felt overwhelming joy. When we go to where God's light is shining and where the light is, we come into the presence of overwhelming joy. We will find a joy that is overwhelming when we go search for Him. Where God has shined the light, we find what God wants for us and we will find our prince of peace as the baby Jesus. In that miracle, we will know true joy. 

It is epiphany and the season of light. Let us be like the wisemen and go to where God's light is shining. 

The Prayer Corner
A Prayer of Repentance
Heavenly and Almighty God, I come before you humbled and sorrowful, aware of my sin, and ready to repent. Lord, forgive me for I have sinned before you. Wash away my sin, purify me, and help me to turn from this sin. Lead me to walk in your way instead, leaving behind my old life and starting a new life in you.

Sunday Worship
Please join us every Sunday for our Virtual Zoom Worship Service. Online "fellowship starts at 10:00 am and Worship Service Starts at 10:30 am.
Gethsemane Lutheran
Building Hope Together
4656 Colfax Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55412