Sermon Notes for January 15, 2023:


I.                    An example of what a disciple of Jesus looks like…based upon God’s Word:        


Denies self.                                                     Luke 9:23

Identifies with Christ.                                     Matthew 10:24-25, 32

Serves others.                                                 Mark 10:42-45

Continues in God’s Word.                             John 8:31-32

Involved in the Great Commission.                Matthew 28:18-20

Produces much fruit.                                      John 15:8

Loves other believers.                                    John 13:34-35

Equip the body.                                              John 21:15b; Ephesians 4:11-12        


II.                 How do we make disciples of Jesus

A.    God’s Disciple-making plan – 2 Timothy 2:2 (NLT): You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.

B.     Remember the difference between a horse and a mule?

1.      A horse can __________.

2.      A mule does not __________.

3.      And so if one is a disciple of Jesus (a wonderful disciple) but works alone, then we will not produce another disciple of Jesus.

4.      And so it is very important in God’s plan to invest in those younger than us in order to pass on the faith to the next generation. We see Paul invested in Timothy and Titus.

C.     Remember…to make a disciple of Jesus:

1.      Teach…name/share what truth of God you are trying to teach another person.

2.      Train…invite a person to come along-side you or someone else to see you trying to live this teaching.

3.      Equip…the person has been equipped when you can see them do what you are trying to teach and train them.


III.              Now in today’s Gospel of John

A.    What is the Great Truth about Jesus that John the Baptist tells his Disciples?

All Read: Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

B.     From How to Forgive Ourselves – Totally:

Let me explain what I mean by “fallen” state. St. Augustine (354-430) put forward four stages of humankind that set the pace for the Christian church’s doctrine of sin for hundreds of years:

1.      Posse peccare (able to sin) – that is, Adam and Eve before the Fall in Genesis 3.

2.      Non posse non peccare (not able not to sin) – that is, the state into which all people are born after the Fall.

3.      Posse non peccare (able not to sin) – that is, those who have faith in Christ.

4.      Non posse peccare (not able to sin) – that is, once we are in heaven.

C.     But how did Jesus help His disciples see how He, the Lamb of God, take away the sin of the world? (train) What was Jesus “famous” for doing? __________with sinners.

1.      Now in our Gospel story, Jesus turned and saw a couple of John’s disciples following Him. Jesus asked them, “What do you want?” The said, “Where are you staying?” Jesus said, “Come and see.”

2.      For those disciples, a key part of their following Jesus was coming and seeing why Jesus was famous for __________ with sinners!

3.      In the very next chapter of John, the disciples are invited to join Jesus at a wedding feast in Cana.

4.      Read the Gospel stories to see how many times the disciples see Jesus (the Lamb of God) who eats with sinner; many of whom the disciples would never imagined they would ever eat with.

5.      What “sinful people” have you ended up eating with because you have sought to follow Jesus in your life?


IV.              Now a “brief remembering” how important is “eating meals with sinners” is for us disciples of Jesus.

A.    For the first disciples of Jesus who were Jewish, what persons did they struggle joining the Risen Jesus and eating with them? __________(Gentiles)

1.      No faithful Jew would ever eat in the home of a Gentile or invite a Gentile to eat at their table.

2.      Remember the story of Peter going to the home of Cornelius in Joppa!

B.     Another challenge for the first disciples of Jesus: Some of the early Gentile disciples of Jesus were slave-owners and so what should they do when they gather with slaves who also had become disciples of Jesus.

C.     You can trace Church History and see both the painful and the glorious sides of the struggle to join Jesus in eating with sinners!


V.                Let us go back to the basic truth about Jesus being the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world: We are all sinners in need of Jesus! Which is at the heart of our worship services.

A.    And so, part of Jesus’ disciple-making plan is to invite us to join Him in eating with sinners that we have been taught not to eat with or we feel “uncomfortable” eating with them.

B.     For us older Christians in our country:

1.      For us white Christians, who were the first black people invited into our home to eat at our table?

2.      For us black Christians, who were the first white people invited into our home to eat at our table?

C.     A couple of stories form the 1960’s:

1.      My sister’s wedding.

2.      Us priests at St. Margaret.


VI.              “Less dramatic” but what is your “eating meals with Jesus” plan?

A.    My wife Joan and I…our home and table.

B.     Our prayer for our single-mother daughter and her daughter.

C.     Our son John and Rosa.

D.    Our granddaughter in Budapest.

E.     What do you think is one of the most important ways Muslims come to know Jesus Christ?




Pre-Confirmation/Confirmation classes are in session with John Toich teaching pre-confirmation – 6th grade, and Vicki Borreson and Todd Coppell teaching confirmation – 7th & 8th grades. Parents are invited to attend classes to learn about what the children are studying, or parents can attend our adult Sunday school/study or fellowship during the Sunday school hour.


Hoagie Sale is on! Forms are available with any Luther League youth member or Vicki Borreson. Deadline to order is Sunday, February 5th by 6pm. Hoagies will be made by the Luther League Youth Group this year on February 10th, and will be available for pick-up on Saturday, February 11th from 10am to noon or during church hours on Sunday, February 12th.


Annual Luther League Youth Ski Trip: We have a house on the mountain for our upcoming ski trip, February 24th - 26th. This is a great fellowship event for our youth filled with fun, food, and Bible studies. Oh, and some time at the ski lodge and on the slopes. This year, Massanutten ski resort requires lift tickets, etc. for snowboarding and skiing to be purchased in advance. Each attendee will have to order their lift ticket and equipment in advance with a credit card. Vicki Borreson is checking to see if that also is true for tubing. If you need assistance with ordering or have questions, please contact Vicki Borreson at 410-456-6735. If you are interested in chaperoning and/or providing transportation, please contact Vicki Borreson. **ATTENDEES: It’s not too late to register for the ski trip. Just send in/bring in a deposit of $30 to Vicki Borreson ASAP. Your remaining balance is due by Sunday, February 19th.


Coffee House will be held on Friday, February 3rd at 7pm. A $5 donation per person is requested and all are welcome! Enjoy coffee, tea and lite refreshments during the live entertainment, including music from the Fishtones. If you would like to share your talent, please contact Donna Jones at 410-790-9735.


“Catch-Up” Sundays will be held on the months that have 5 Sundays. January 29th will be our first “Catch-Up” Sunday. This Sunday is an opportunity to catch up on any giving that you have missed or to give a special gift to the general budget or capital building fund. For more information, please see Helen Stevens, our Stewardship chairperson. Thank you for your continued support of all the ministries here at St. Matthew!!


Ash Wednesday is February 22nd. We will have a 10am morning service and a 7:30pm evening service with ashes. We will also hold our traditional Soup and Salad dinner. A donation sign-up sheet will be available for Ash Wednesday and all Wednesdays in Lent on Sunday, January 29th.


Reminder: If you ordered poinsettias, please pick them up in the fellowship hall. Any poinsettias left after this Sunday will be given away or disposed. Thank you for making our sanctuary beautiful during the Christmas season.


Our sympathy and prayers go to the family and friends of Jeanne Nye, who passed away on January 8th. There is no service or internment planned at this as her family wants to honor her wishes. Cards can be sent to Dian Paugh @ 108 W. Center Street, Kitzmiller, MD 21538, or Kim Crogan @ 106 W. Center Street, Kitzmiller, MD 21538, Kathy Nye is in Delaware and her address is not recorded in the office. Please keep her daughters, Kathy, Diane, and Kim; and her grandson Zach in prayer. God’s blessings to all!


The Regional WNALC is inviting the ladies of our church to join them on the weekend of May 5-7 in Newville, PA for their Annual Spring Women’s Retreat. Please pick up a flier in the Narthex for details.


Our Bible Studies for 2023


Below is a list of the Bible Studies being offered here in our congregation. Friends are always welcome to join us in a study.


Mondays – starting January 9th

A.   Monday Morning Study from 9:30am to 11am

12-week study: Experiencing God

Leaders: Jeff Markley and Pastor Ray


B.   Monday Evening Study from 7pm to 8:30pm

Bible Study of Scripture

Leader: Jeff Markley


Tuesdays – starting January 3rd

A.   Tuesday Evening Study from 7pm to 8:30pm

Study: Totally Forgiving Ourselves, Study of How God Forgives Us

Leader: Irene Markley


Wednesdays – starting December 28th

A.   Wednesday Evening Study from 6:30pm to 8pm

Study: 12-lesson study: Experiencing God

Leaders: Keith Baughman and Jeff Markley


Thursdays - starting January 5th

A.   Thursday Evening Study for Women with the Journey Sisters

Meets: the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month from 7pm to 8:30pm

Study: No study selected yet but will post when the ladies have chosen one

Leader: Irene Markley


B.   Thursday Evening Study for Women with the Mary and Martha Circle

Meets: the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from 7pm to 8:30pm

Study: a study on the Epiphany

Leader: Vicki Borreson


C.   Thursday Evening Study for Men

Meets: at the VFW Hall on Ebenezer Road @ 7pm

Study: Leader’s Choice – weekly picks

Leader: Any man who steps up – coordinator is Jeff Markley


Sundays – starting on January 8th

A.   Sunday Morning Adult Study during Sunday School Hour from 9:45am to 10:55am

Study: from CPH: A Longer Look at the Lessons: Year A - Advent, Christmas, Epiphany

Leader: Betty Ristau