Worship at Home for January 15, 2023

Dear Friends,

We are now in the season of Epiphany in the church liturgical year. This is the season which comes between Christmas and Lent. Epiphany is a season of joy which begins with the arrival of the wise ones from the East who followed the star that appeared when Jesus was born. During this season we recall Jesus’ baptism, hear the call of the disciples, spend three Sundays listening to the Sermon on the Mount and end with Jesus on another mountain turning dazzling white on Transfiguration Sunday. This Sunday we will reflect on the names by which Jesus is called and when Jesus’ first disciples were called.

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church) or 573-832-2475 (cell).

  • We are looking for new council members. If you would like to serve, let a current council member know.
  • Bell Choir on Wednesday at 4:15pm & Choir Practice at 7pm
  • Confirmation on Wednesday at 6:30pm
  • Community Forum with Compass Health on Thursday, January 19 at 7pm
  • Congregational Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 22 after worship followed by a Potluck and Games
  • Pub Theology at M. Clancy’s on Thursday, January 26 at 6:30


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Isaiah 49:1-7, Psalm 40:1-11, 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, John 1:29-42

Sermon: Called

There is an old joke that goes, you can call me anything, just not late for supper. The joke is funny because we all wish to be fed. But what we are called and who calls us matters. No one wants to be called a hurtful name or have painful memories associated with their name. There are a lot of different ways to be called: called on the carpet, called to duty, called out, called home, called to act, called on the phone, called to ministry and of course called to supper.

Isaiah says that Lord called and named him before he was born. Being called and named by God gave deep meaning to the prophet’s existence and words. Both John the Baptist and Jesus were named by God. They were called other names too.

The day after John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the river Jordan, John saw Jesus coming toward him and called out names for Jesus. John called Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Then John recalled what he witnessed when Jesus was baptized that the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus. John then testified to another name by which Jesus’ is called, Son of God. The names by which Jesus is called matter.

John called Jesus Lamb of God the following day as well. Two of John’s disciples were so intrigued by this name that they followed Jesus as he walked. They wanted to know more about someone called the Lamb of God. Calling gets deep to the root of who we are and what we are looking for in life. I doubt that they would have trailed behind someone with a more ordinary designation like the guy who lives across from the tavern. Unless of course they were looking for a tavern.

Upon noticing the two trailing behind him, Jesus’ first words in the Gospel of John are to ask his would-be disciples ‘What are you after?” (The Message) Good question, why they were following mattered. If they were looking for the local tavern, then Jesus wasn’t their guy. They answered by calling Jesus another name, Rabbi or Teacher. Being called teacher implied that they wished to learn from him. “Where are you staying?” meant where they could come and learn from Jesus. Jesus invited them to come and see.

After spending time with Jesus, Andrew found his brother Simon and called Jesus by another name, Messiah. Jesus in this short passaged is called by four names: Lamb of God, Son of God, Rabbi/Teacher and Messiah. When Jesus looked upon Simon Jesus discerned Simon’s true nature when he called him Peter or Cephas, the rock.

As a teen I loved reading the Wizard of Earth Sea books by Ursula K. LeGuin. The books are about wizard was called Sparrowhawk who had been given his true name Ged by a his mentor. The wizards seek to find the true names of everything in their world. For by knowing the true name of something or someone taps into the true nature and power of a that person, place, or thing. This idea of having a true name always fascinated me.

What true name do each of us possess that reveals our true nature in Jesus? What name has Jesus called us and what does our true name say about who we are and what we are to do in this life? I like to think that we are all called “Beloved by God”. Even in our hurting moments, worst moments, and best moments. We are all “Beloved by God.” May knowing this true name invite us to live in the love of God and calling others to follow the one called the Lamb of God, Son of God, Rabbi/Teacher, and Messiah.

Prayer: God of many names, may we live lives called by You and remember that You have named us Beloved by God. Amen.

Prayer list: Elizabeth, Cheryl, Dave, David, Ken and Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, Bobby, Kevin, Jim, Darryl (doing better!), Marilee, Beverly, Jim, Jenny, Jaqueline-Dixon’s daughter, Jaqueline and Kirk, Barbara, Mitchell, Mahala, Maybelle and Mary, La Rae, Bud, Tyra, Ed, Marilyn, Tom, Jeff, Ken’s mom, Jesse and for peace in troubled and war-torn places.

The family of Ray Wacker who passed last week.

The family of Melvin Koch who passed away on January 10. His funeral will be on Saturday, January 14 at 11am at Gottenstroeter’s.