Friday, December 12, 2014

One Man Forgives, Another Doesn’t. Does It Matter?

Two men suffer unimaginably at the hands of other human beings. The horror they experienced leaves them drastically altered. They are never the same. One man holds on to the hurt and injustice, the other gives up that same hurt and injustice and forgives.

The first man says what had been done to him cannot be forgiven, that forgiveness on his part would minimize the awfulness of the crime. The second man claims his forgiveness came from God, that he was compelled to do the same towards those who had treated him so brutally.

Someone has said that forgiveness is the most unnatural of all human actions. Revenge and hate we don’t have to learn. Forgiveness is hard at any age.

Does forgiveness matter? Of course it does. Even people who have no belief in or inclination toward God know that forgiveness is essential for any meaningful relationship. But that leaves the question, “Why forgive?” Are we to forgive just to maintain a marriage, a friendship, a working relationship? Is forgiveness just part of a contract that benefits the people involved? Apart from God, there aren’t very satisfactory answers to those difficult questions.

Simply put, from a Christian point of view, Christmas is about forgiveness and nothing else. Christmas is the historical account of God becoming a human being for one purpose and one purpose only – to win forgiveness for human beings – all human beings.

The forgiveness of Christmas is definitely supernatural, but that doesn’t mean it is restricted to God. The forgiveness which Jesus Christ brought to people was meant not only to be applied to our relationship with him, but also with other people.

Does forgiveness matter? Forgiveness is what makes us so special to God. Forgiveness is what makes relationships most important in life. Forgiveness is what transforms us from brute beasts to human beings capable of living out the image of God. Forgiveness is life-changing!

Join us for one of our week-end services. We all need as much forgiveness as we can get.

Saturday Evening Worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday Morning Worship: 10:00 am

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas Peace

When World War I was being fought (1914-1918), it was known as the “Great War” or “The War to End All Wars”. The carnage and destruction of that war were such that it led people to think, “This war is so terrible, people will never, ever want to go to war again.”

Tragically, a war (World War II) broke out between the same nations only twenty years later of such epic proportions that many people today have difficulty even remembering World War I. For as much as the human race yearns for peace, we have great difficulty achieving it.

Not only is conflict hard to avoid among nations, even members of the same family are challenged when it comes to getting along over prolonged periods of time. Our penchant to disagree has led to the cynical comment, “Put two people in a room and sooner or later you’ll have a fight.”

Christmas has been called the “peaceful time of year”. Many quote the words of the angels, “Peace on earth, good will toward men,” and sigh with disappointment that there isn’t more evidence in our daily lives of that peace. They wonder if peace on earth is even possible.

Has peace been an illusion which you have chased but never been able to hold on to for any length of time? Maybe our problem is understanding what kind of peace the angels were talking about that Christmas night. Maybe our concept of peace and God’s are different. Maybe peace isn’t such an unreachable dream. Join us this weekend for one of our services. Peace can be a bigger part of your life in 2015 than you ever imagined!

Saturday Evening Worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday Morning Worship: 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.