PRAIRIE WIND PARISH
 

212 N Eisenhower

Junction City, KS 66441

785-238-6567


Sunday Worship 9:30 am

on Facebook Page

Children's Time during Worship






Marion Hill Evangelical Lutheran Church

1809 B. Ave.

White City, KS 66872


785-482-3830


Sunday Worship 9 am

on Marion Hill's Facebook page






Pray for all 
nations,
leaders and peoples.
Mission Statement
We have benefited greatly from the gifts of God's love, peace and joy through Jesus Christ.  In grateful
 response we seek to share these same gifts with others, inviting all people seeking
 meaning, purpose, and community to a new life in Christ. 

See more of our beliefs and practices at www.elca.org


From our BISHOP: Susan Candea


 

It is hard to compete with all the hype of this season. Think of how much time, and energy, not to mention money is spent on decorations, parties, gatherings, and presents all in hopes of what? It would be easy to get cynical about how commercialized Christmas has become, that Jesus is not the reason for the season for many. So, what is? Perhaps all the hype reveals the longing that we have. Longing for hope, for joy, and for some light in the midst of the darkness in this world, even if we aren’t able to articulate that longing.

My family watched the movie White Christmas every year when I was growing up. Thinking about it, who doesn’t want to fall in love with their knight in shining armor, help someone who is struggling (like saving the inn from ruin), and have beautiful snowflakes falling outside while everyone joins in singing and dancing? At the end of the story, all is right with the world. Don’t we all want that in some way?

God hears our longing. God knows we need peace, joy, and light in our lives. So God gives us, not a fictional story that fills us with momentary happiness, but God’s own son, God’s own presence, God’s own peace and light to touch and heal the longings deep in our hearts.

For out of God’s heart:

6 . . . a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

11The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, (Titus 2:11)

10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11)

Maybe it is not hype we need this season, but hope! A hope that goes deeper than the hype. Hope that lasts beyond the end of the movie, after the decorations are done. Hope that is not dependent on whether we have a white Christmas, fall in love, or enjoy a peaceful, happy family gathering. It is the hope that comes now in this child that enables us to not merely survive, but to experience true joy.

In his letter to his parents from prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote,

For a Christian there is nothing peculiarly difficult about Christmas in a prison cell. I daresay it will have more meaning and will be observed with great sincerity here in this prison than in places where all that survives of the feast is its name . . . It will certainly be a quiet Christmas for everybody and the children will look back on it for long afterwards.  But for the first time, perhaps, many will learn the true meaning of Christmas.

In the midst of the busyness and hype of this season, the gifts and disappointment, may we all take some moments to not just learn the true meaning of Christmas, but let it into our hearts so that we might live it.

 


Bishop Susan Candea

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HOW FAR IS IT FROM BETHLEHEM TO EGYPT?


13 “Now after they [the Wise Men] had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod.” Matthew 2: 13-15

How far did they travel, husband, wife, newborn child? Their travels were from Bethlehem - just a few miles south of Jerusalem - to some unnamed location in Egypt. The largest city in Egypt at that time would be Alexandria. Just using a ruler on the map, the distance between these two cities appears to be about 320 miles. 320 miles walking or riding a donkey so soon after giving birth.
They may have cut a few dozen miles off their trip by stopping at some closer town in Egypt, but on the other hand, they had to travel on roads not nearly as straight as my as-the-bird-flies measurement.
So, the best guess would be 300-350 miles. An extremely long trip in those days. And weighed down by the constant sorrow for those mothers whose two-year-old sons were being murdered by Herod’s soldiers.
The weary refugees had much to ponder in their hearts.

 





 

 

                                        


 


 

 

 

 

                

 

 

 



   

Text Box:      “ You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say. ”       
                                                                          - Martin Luther   1483-1546