Worship at Home for November 12, 2023

Dear Friends,

Thank you to everyone who helped to put in the new ceiling tiles in the dining room. Everything downstairs looks so fresh and new!

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

  • Elf the Musical will be performed at OHS on Friday, November 10 at 7pm and Sunday, November 12 at 2pm. Cece Clancy is in the musical.
  • We have Apple Butter for sale: Quarts - $10, Pints - $6, Half Pints - $4
  • Church Council Meeting on Monday at 7pm
  • Wednesday: Bell Choir Practice at 4:15pm and Choir Practice at 7pm
  • The Turkey Supper will be on Saturday, November 18. We will need church members to help with baking items and making crafts for the Country Store, prepping food on Friday, November 17, and cooking, serving, and cleaning up on Saturday, November 18.
  • Congregational Budget Meeting on Sunday, November 19 after worship
  • Totenfest on Sunday, November 26 with Hanging of the Greens after worship
  • Advent Tea on Saturday, December 2, please call the church office to reserve your seating at 11am or 2pm
  • Christmas Cantata on Sunday, December 3 at 3pm


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Amos 5:18-24 and Wisdom of Solomon 6:17-20 or Psalm 70 •
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 • Matthew 25:1-13

Sermon: Wisdom

Being a bridesmaid today is quite different from the role of one in Jesus’ time. Today bridesmaids wear matching dresses chosen by the bride. Throw bridal showers. Organize bachelorette parties. Have their hair and makeup done for the ceremony. Pose for pictures with the bridal party. Precede the bride into the sanctuary for the wedding ceremony. Sit at head table during the reception. Their focus is on loving and supporting the bride.

In Jesus’ time the bridesmaids’ responsibility was wait for the groom with the bride at bride’s family home. Due to a variety of factors the groom’s arrival was often unpredictable, but the bridesmaids were expected to be ready for the groom’s arrival. For some reason, the grooms often arrived at night. When the groom arrived with his entourage to escort his bride, the bridesmaids would light the way from the bride’s family home to the groom’s family home for the wedding ceremony and festivities. (NRSV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, Copyright © 2019 by Zondervan).

The lamps were often small handheld lamps that required the oil to be replenished frequently. In poorer communities handheld torches, which needed to be rewrapped every fifteen minutes, would be used to light the musical procession from the bride’s home to the groom’s home. Bridesmaids who failed to light the way would have insulted both the bride and the groom. If the wise bridesmaids who brought extra oil had shared with the foolish ones, then the groom would have been truly insulted as there would have been no one to light the way for the wedding procession. The wise bridesmaids needed their oil to light the way. (NRSV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, Copyright © 2019 by Zondervan.)

I recently streamed My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3. In this latest version of this movie franchise there is a wedding set in a small village in Greece. The wedding scenes may approximate what this wedding procession may have looked like. On the night of the wedding the village glows with candles and other lights as the groom’s and bride’s entourages meet in a musical procession to escort the couple to the marriage ceremony. Candles, lamps, and torches were everywhere along with singing, dancing, and laughter. If either the groom’s party or the bride’s party had failed to light the way, it would have been a shocking moment.

Living a life of faith is a daily commitment. Being a Christian requires worship, prayer and letting the light of God shine in our lives. Jesus wants us to make his teaching the oil in our lamps that lights our life and way. It really is not possible to ask someone to give you the spiritual blessings that come from their prayer time or living a life of service. We must replenish this oil in our hearts and minds ourselves.

We do not know when Jesus will return to this world. We do not know when God will call us from this life to the next. We need to be like the wise bridesmaids and live a life of faithful preparedness so that we as the church may greet Jesus our bridegroom.

Prayer: Help me to keep the spiritual oil in my life filled so that my light will shine. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list for a while, Mark’ s brother Billy, Delores W., Tyra, Freya, Vicki B., Barb Z., Jesse, Tammy. Jennifer, Richard, Tamara, John, Dixon’s great granddaughter, Ashlely and Cody, Garth, Linda, Tessa, Carl, Kimbra, Liz’s father, Dannie, Lathe, Marilyn, Kris, Lee Ann, Bob, Louise, Janet and all who are in need about which we do not know. If you know of anyone who would like a prayer shawl, please let us know.

Prayers for all the places in the world where there is war, special prayers for Israel and Gaza.