Friday, April 26, 2013

Easter: The Best Reason to Get Up in the Morning!

All of us have experienced those times in life when we didn’t feel all that enthused about getting up in the morning. Maybe it was a nagging problem which just wouldn’t go away. Or, it might have been the crushing sense of futility that the daily routine can have on us. We’ve all been there. We’ve all asked the question, “What good reason do I have for getting up this morning?”

Do you think that maybe some of the men disciples felt that way on Easter Sunday morning? Maybe that’s why we only find the women at the empty tomb. We do know for certain, however, that Monday morning there was no question all the disciples had everything in the world to get up for. On Easter Sunday evening, around dinner time, Jesus Christ physically appeared to his disciples. At first they thought it was a ghost, but after some reassuring words, a demonstration of his pierced hands and a bite to eat, they were convinced the dead Jesus of the Friday before was now alive.

It is not hard to imagine the celebration in that room two thousand years ago – the hugging, the happy laughter, the tears of joy. But Jesus does not leave them celebrating, instead he gives his disciples an ongoing mission. He said, “

“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you…If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

From that day on, Peter, James, John and the others never lacked a reason for getting up in the morning. They were on a mission from God himself to let people know that eternal life is a free gift to anyone willing to receive it. That mission continues today. It is no less urgent or important than it was when Jesus first gave it. If you need a reason to get up in the morning, join us this Saturday evening (6:00 pm) or Sunday morning (10:00 am). Your life may never be the same!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Easter Is the Answer to the Questions We All Ask

“Why?” That is the question on the lips of Americans. Even though justice seems to have been executed swiftly in the case of the Boston Marathon bombers, the nation is in shock. “Why are we such a violent people?” The events of the past week made it clear that the problem of mass murder is not rooted primarily in guns, but the human spirit.

In the coming days there will probably be news of lawmakers proposing all sorts of new legislation aimed at preventing another such tragedy. But deep down we know that laws are meant to be broken. What humans need is a change of heart – and that, in the view of many, will never happen.

Easter does give us answers to our “why” questions of 2013. They are not the kind of answers a human being would come up with, but they definitely address the issues at hand. It is hard for many people today to admit the need for divine intervention. But isn’t it better to confess we are helpless than to simply ask “Why? Why? Why?” without ever expecting an answer? That would seem to be the essence of futility.

Join us this weekend as we search out the Easter answers for life’s most agonizing “why” questions and let the healing begin.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Time to Step Up

They were two men with everything to lose and nothing to gain. What good could come out of burying the corpse of Jesus Christ? And think of everything they could lose. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were considered important by the way folks judge other folks. They had money. They were well known and respected. They had influence. So why would they risk it all by requesting permission from Pontius Pilate to give Jesus an honorable burial? Burying Jesus would be saying to Caiaphas and all the other religious leaders, “You were wrong in condemning Christ!” After seeing what Caiaphas did with Jesus, was it really worth taking on that man over a burial? Apparently it was.

Prior to Jesus’ crucifixion, Joseph and Nicodemus had been secret admirers. They knew Jesus was special, that he had something to offer which they desperately needed, but they weren’t yet ready to publicly commit to him. Good Friday changed all that. In an act of bold courage, they not only removed the body of Christ from the cross, but gave it the burial of a king. In no uncertain terms, Joseph and Nicodemus declared their allegiance to Jesus Christ to the world.

There are moments in the lives of every Christian during which we are called to step up, to publicly demonstrate that Jesus Christ is the Lord of our lives. Often it comes after experiences of great testing, when we are confronted with having to choose between living for ourselves or for Christ. How we have chosen in the past is in the past. What we need now is to prepare ourselves for the next opportunity. Join us for one of our services this weekend and begin to get ready to step up!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Easter Is about Second Chances. Do You Need One?

What do you think passed through Peter’s head on the Saturday night before Easter? Lots of regrets, that is for sure!

“How could I have denied him?
I never got a chance to tell him I didn’t mean it.
How can I live with myself?”

Peter needed a second chance, but he never imagined he would get one. How do you get a second chance from a person who is dead? We don’t know exactly what Peter’s first reaction was when he arrived at the empty tomb on Easter Sunday and it began to dawn on him that Jesus had risen from the dead, but one thought must have exploded in his mind. “I’ve got another chance with Jesus!” A few weeks later that chance came – on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

After breakfast on the beach, Jesus gets Peter alone with him and the two have the conversation of Peter’s life. It’s not an easy conversation, but it was all about a second chance for this man who had violently and vigorously denied Jesus three times.

The core message of Easter is: second chances. Not just for Peter, but for all of us. Join us this week end either for our Saturday (6:00 pm) or Sunday (10:00 am) service and claim your second chance. It can be as life changing as Peter’s.

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.