TLO Disciple
December 2015  --      Incarnation  

Pastor's Message 
Dear Friends in Christ,
 
It's in our families that we see the reality of sin.  "Give that back to me.  That's mine."  We see apologies urged on little children, "Give that back to your brother and tell him you're sorry."  I remember wrestling with my brother as a child.  But we didn't only squabble with each other.  We genuinely cared about each other as we do today.  In the family we see each other as sinners and saints.  As we grow in faith, we realize that God has come in Christ to remove our sin from us and restore our relationships with him and each other especially in our family and among the brothers and sisters in the church.
 
Advent marks of the Christian new year.  It's a time for new beginnings in the church and in our hearts.
 
What's exciting about Advent is that we hear again that Jesus, the righteous Son of God, has come into the flesh.  In the Nicene Creed we confess: He "was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man."  God born to Mary, became man, for us.  Jesus was born into a family, so that we can be members of the family of God.
 
The theme for this month's TLO Disciple is "The Incarnation."  Incarnate means: "In the flesh".   I pray this month's TLO Disciple will help you stand firm in faith in God's Word that Jesus came to dwell among us, full of grace and truth.   Read the entire article from Pastor Kroonblawd

Pastor James Kroonblawd




Advent Worship and Soup Suppers
Advent Worship prepares our hearts for the Coming King!  Soup Suppers ease schedules for busy folks.  Join us these Wednesdays!

December 2 - 

Worship-6:30pm 

Soup Supper-5:15pm--Sr. High Youth serving

December 9 - 

Worship-6:30pm

Soup Supper-5:15pm --TLO School Staff serving

December 16 - 

Worship-6:30pm, led by Sunday School

 Soup Supper-5:15pm --Board of Evangelism serving


 

Christmas Services
December 24
Family Worship-3:30pm
Christmas Eve with Holy Communion-7:00pm
December 25
Christmas Day with Holy Communion-9:00am

Hymn of focus
A Great and Mighty Wonder
What a wonder that God became man!  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  (John 3:16)  This is a mighty deed!  For God's Son to have died, he first came to earth and took on human form.  Earlier in the Gospel of John, The Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  (John 1:14)  Jesus, God's Son, one person in the Trinity, became one of us, but yet remained God. 
 
The vocabulary word for God taking human form is incarnate.  Other synonyms are: in the flesh, in physical form, in bodily form, and made flesh.  Jesus is our God incarnate.  Indeed, this is a difficult concept for humans to grasp; it is a great and mighty wonder!
 
In the words of the Christmas hymn, A Great and Mighty Wonder (LSB 383:2),
The Word becomes incarnate And yet remains on high,
And cherubim sing anthems To shepherds from the sky.
 
The hymn writer conveys the great exultation of the Word becoming flesh and yet maintaining his Godliness.  Even the angels sing of this awesome incomprehensible event to the lowly people of earth.

 
Please enjoy The King's College Choir, Cambridge, United Kingdom, sing A Great and Mighty Wonder in a 2006 recording.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9hS2G_7LrQ

--Faith Jonas, TLO Parish Music Coordinator

 
Media Related--
Dec 6, 13, 20 at TLO
Scholars debate whether the Star of Bethlehem is a legend created by the early church or a miracle that marked the advent of Christ. Is it possible that the star was a real, astronomical event? From Producer Stephen McEveety (The Passion of the Christ) comes an amazing documentary on the Star of Bethlehem. This presentation as seen by tens of thousands in the U.S. and in Europe explores the exciting truth of scripture and reveals the evidence for God's existence as seen in the stars above. Presenter Rick Larson walks you through Biblical and historical clues revealing the incredible significance of this celestial event as well as the vastness of God's creativity. Discover the secret of the Star with your friends at TLO Dec 6, 13, 20 at 9:15am in the Conference room.
For your family

2015 ADVENT CALENDAR  
25 INSPIRING TRUE STORIES OF THE SEASON

Keep your whole family focused on Christ this Christmas with this  interactive Advent calendar. Assemble the poster-size calendar,  and then print out the Story Guide, which contains a heartwarming  tale for each day. As you read these narratives, encourage your  kids to search for the calendar pictures that relate to the stories.  Don't stop there! You can make it even more fun for your kids  by creating easy-to-fold booklets for each story.
 

Quote
The Apostle of Love warns Christians "Believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world."  Although John's Gospel and Epistles constantly set forth the love of one's fellow believers as the criterion for true faith and genuine Christianity, his criterion for erroneous faith and heresy is a dogmatic statement: "Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus is come in the flesh is not of God..."  --Hermann Sasse

editior's note: Hermann Sasse (1895-1976) is widely recognized as one of the 20th century's foremost confessional Lutheran scholars.   
Additional Resources

The Incarnational Life: A great June 1998 article from the Life of  the World publication (CTS Ft. Wayne) about what Christ's incarnation  meant, and what it means for us today. 

http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/TheIncarnationalLifeJust.pdf
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An article that eloquently connects the  historical significance to the personal meaning of Christ's Incarnation.

https://graceuniversity.edu/iip/2014/12/the-meaning-of-christs-incarnation/
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The Comfort of the Incarnation: A more in-depth LW article by John  Pless from 2007 about the Christmas letter to Prince Joachim from  Luther.  This details Luther's belief that Jesus and God cannot be  separated.

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Editor's note
TLO Disciple, with a topical study in each issue, is distributed primarily via email on the first of every month.  Print copies are available by contacting the TLO Church office at 651-454-7235 or the Church Office via email.

Calendars, volunteer information, serving groups and the like will accompany the TLO Together, on the last Wednesday of the month.   Click here for November 25 issue.  This publication is also mailed upon request.

TLO Leaf Logo and Name
2950 Highway 55   
Eagan MN  55121
651-454-7235
office@trinityloneoak.org