Joseph, Son of David, Do Not Fear – Matt. 1:20
Joseph has just received crushing, devastating news. Physically, he feels sick, his stomach is knotted. His spirit has sunk low, very low. Every fiber in his body aches, and he cries out loud, first with disbelief, then anger and now soul-wrenching sorrow. The women he loves has been unfaithful and the envisioned hope filled life ahead has slipped away. Sleep does not come easy, and he slowly deciphers a plan. He will divorce Mary but do it quietly. Then as he lies restlessly, he repeats the Shema, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deut. 6:5) over and over until he falls asleep.

Later that evening all is changed as an angel appears to him in a dream and tells him not be afraid. “Joseph, do not fear, there is something you must know.” When Joseph awakes, hope has returned and now he knows.

Question of the Week: Matthew quotes an Old Testament prophet to explain to us the validity and significance of the angel’s revelation to Joseph. The quote is, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.” What prophet is he quoting?

Answer: The Old Testament prophet quoted is Isaiah and the quote is from Isaiah 7:14.

Christmas and New Year Schedule Updates
There will be no Sunday School on Dec. 22 and Jan 5. On Dec. 22 the Sunday School kids will arrive early to prepare for their service.

On Dec. 22, there will be a special pastor-led Bible Study on the Holy Spirit and Prayer but no LifeGroups, and there is no LifeGroups schedule for Jan. 5.

There is a Christmas Eve service on the 24th at 6 p.m. That is our only special Holiday Service.

Update on our LifeCenter
The Planning Team is meeting on a regular basis with Rick Geiler, our architect. Our Planning Team will next meet with him on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. During this past week, a test well was drilled on our property.

Current plans are to distribute bid plans in early January to be returned in late February. Construction will start as weather permits in March or April. Projected completion of the LifeCenter is Thanksgiving 2014.

We pray and trust that God will lead us as we go, serving Him. Our LifeCenter for Christ and Community Campaign Co-Leaders are R.O. Ouellette and Jason and Lynette Windhorst, Mike McHargue and Tom Hoegemeyer. Contact me, Pastor Larry at 402-641-3692 or for information on our prayer team and the vision we have in serving Him.

Prison Ministry Update: Jail and Prison Ministry Seminar
The Nebraska District is sponsoring a Jail and Prison Ministry Seminar on Saturday, Jan. 25, from 9 a.m. to noon at Immanuel Lutheran at 2001 S. 11th St., Lincoln. The leader is Liz Jeanette, area director for Prison Fellowship Ministries. There is no cost, but please register with by Dec. 15. For more information, contact Pastor Larry.