Friday, April 25, 2014

After the Fall

It happened. We don’t know how. We are left speechless at the very thought of our being capable of such a thing, much less actually doing it. We’re shocked to the very core of our faith. “What happened? All these years I’ve believed and now this? Did I ever believe? Was it all a cover up, a facade for the real me?”

Peter must have had similar thoughts run through his mind after he denied Jesus three times the night Christ was arrested. Peter was the one disciple who claimed that no matter what happened, he would be at Jesus’ side – faithful to the end. But then there was the resurrection. Everything changed. Still, Peter wondered, “What about me? What will Jesus do with me?”

This Sunday we are going to study what Jesus did with Peter. It’s a heartwarming account of forgiveness and healing. But there is also pain and responsibility involved. And as he usually did, Peter complicated the situation just by being – well – Peter! Above all, we can take heart from Peter’s story that there is hope for us after the fall into some type of serious sin.

Hope – that is what the resurrection of Jesus Christ is all about. There is hope, always hope, no matter what. And that really does change everything.

Saturday worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday worship: 10:00 am

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter IS the Best Day of the Year

Probably you don’t have time to read this. Maybe it’s the kids who need to go to some activity or you have an appointment or maybe you are just dog tired from an exhausting day and the best thing you can do is relax. You’ve got a lot on your plate – too much at times.

But is Easter the best day of the year? Isn’t Christmas better? Well, consider all the stuff that is stressing you out. If Jesus did physically rise from the dead, how important is it all? Now I’m not trying to minimize your issues, but think about it.

What are all the bills you have to pay going to mean the day Jesus raises you to eternal life with him? How important, as you enter heaven, will it be that the kids got to all their soccer practices? Your job with all the responsibilities you have, will it still be stressing you out as Jesus says, “Welcome home!” Even the real tough stuff like cancer is no match for Easter. Jesus rising from the dead overwhelms any disease because he says that his resurrection guarantees us that in heaven there will be no more pain or disease. And the hole in your heart that’s there because the one you so dearly love is no longer with you, Easter Sunday means the separation is only temporary, very temporary.

Easter is the best day of the year because it changes everything. It turns human life on its ear. Human beings go from meaningless chemical containers who lead empty, unimportant lives to people made to love and be loved for eternity, whose every day has eternal significance no matter how insignificant it may seem. May you experience all the best of the best day of the year!

Saturday worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday worship: 10:00 am

Friday, April 11, 2014

Who Is Your King?

Palm Sunday, which we will celebrate this weekend, is the powerful beginning to the most significant week in the history of the world. While we often wonder how people could shout their praises to Jesus on Sunday and then demand his crucifixion on Friday, the more important question of Palm Sunday is what Jesus was declaring by his spectacular entrance into Jerusalem that day.

In no uncertain terms he was declaring himself to be the long awaited Messiah or Savior King whom the Jewish people had been looking forward to for centuries. This is no small claim. Nor is it restricted to only the Jewish people of the first century. Palm Sunday is a healthy opportunity for us to be confronted with the question, “Who is my king?” It is so easy in our fast paced lives to just assume Jesus is our Lord, while in reality, almost every waking moment is devoted to anything or anyone BUT him.

We may feel uncomfortable by honestly answering the question, “Who really calls the shots in my life?” But for as difficult as it is, it is the best spiritual exercise we can do to prepare for eternity. We need to remember Jesus’ words often, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” For as interesting and exciting as life may seem, nothing even begins to compare with what Jesus offers us both now and in heaven. Don’t let the distractions of life keep him from being your King – today and forever.

Saturday worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday worship: 10:00 am

Friday, April 4, 2014

Justice in the Making

From a legal standpoint, the trial of Jesus before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate was a judicial travesty. The decision Pilate handed down was not based on convincing evidence provided by reliable witnesses. Rather, the verdict was clearly forced by politics. The Governor was afraid the Jewish leaders would incite civil disobedience demanding Roman military intervention and that surely would mean the end of his career. There was nothing just about the entire process. Such an interpretation of the events of that Friday morning would be superficial, however.

When we view Christ’s trial before Pilate through the lens of the Gospels and the Apostle Paul’s letters we see that what happened in the Roman legal system was just the backdrop for something infinitely more important. Pilate, the Jewish leaders, the people in the crowd shouting, “Crucify, crucify,” were only bit players in a side show. The action which mattered was taking place in the spiritual world.

Justice was in the making. Since Adam and Eve first chose to go their own way in life without God, there was the plan for Jesus Christ to right that first wrong and all subsequent wrongs. The trial before Pilate, was in a sense, a tragic representation of what had been going on in the world since the first sin: human beings thinking they were in control of their destiny. While Pilate thought he was making the final decision concerning the fate of Jesus, and the Jewish leaders reveled in their belief that they were finally rid of the man who was such a threat to their power, it was God the Father who was using human spite to bring about the justice making death of his Son.

The cross is where God’s justice was accomplished, once and for all, and then welded to his perfect love for mankind. The trial was only the means the Father used to get Jesus to the cross.

Join us for one of our weekend worship services as we contemplate the massive truth of God turning human arrogance and defiance into an eternity changing event.

Saturday: 6:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am

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.