Are You Ready for 2014?
How can we be ready for a brand new year? Some events are predictable, but let’s face it, we don’t know the joys, temptations, successes or sadness ahead. Perhaps, what we need is an epiphany: insight so brilliant that it moves us away from doubt, confusion or any hint of apathy or despair. Epiphany come from the Greek word “epiphaneia” (“manifestation, striking appearance”), which is an experience of sudden and striking realization to a difficult problem. Looking at a brand new year with confidence and assurance can be daunting.

We have an epiphany waiting for us. It is ready made, so to speak, and it is relevant to the challenge of all that 2014 will bring. Epiphany is an ancient Christian feast day, celebrated on Jan. 6, the 12th day of Christmas. Epiphany celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians celebrate Epiphany principally (but not solely) as the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus, and thus Jesus’ physical appearance to the Gentiles (and that is us).

Now the question, is there a connection between being ready for the New Year and the search of the Wise Men for the King of all Kings? What connects us to these pursuers of truth who brought gifts to the King and what might their journey teach us?

Question of the Week: Matthew writes that the Magi, “…opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” We know what gold is, but what are frankincense and myrrh?

Answer: These valuable items were standard gifts to honor a king or deity in the ancient world: gold as a precious metal, frankincense as perfume or incense, and myrrh as anointing oil.

Update on our LifeCenter
The Planning Team is meeting on a regular basis with Rick Geiler, our architect. Our Planning Team’s next two meetings are at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 7, and Monday, Jan. 13. The Jan. 7 meeting is to develop a plan on what we can provide to the building effort through our own construction abilities. Plan on the meeting or contact Luke Renken, 402-440-1887, for more information.

Present plans are to distribute bid plans in 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.

Lincoln’s Life Walk
Consider joining Lincoln’s Life Walk on Jan. 25. Lutherans for Life meet at Trinity Lutheran Church Saturday morning, Jan. 25. More information to come.

Prison Ministry
Mike Hagerbaumer and Steve Schultz are Lay Clergy at the Correctional Center in Lincoln and assist pastor with this ministry. We are presently meeting with five members. Darwin Schultz assist the ministry by providing transportation for family visits.

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, Prison Fellowship Ministries. There is no cost, but please register with For more information, contact Pastor Larry.