Friday, April 29, 2016

A Legacy that Lasts

Everybody would like to be remembered for what they accomplished while they lived. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen too often. Really, how many people are remembered by anyone 100 years after their death.

To think that all our intense struggling to leave a mark on this earth only ends up being washed away like a sand castle on the beach is unnerving, to say the least. Even thinking about it right now, leads us to question, “For what am I working so hard?” And that is an excellent question for the very reason that it is extremely hard to answer – apart from Jesus Christ.

This Sunday we will be commemorating Christ’s return to heaven (Ascension) at which time he took back his full glory and power as true God. It is an event full of significance for the Christian. Above all, however, it is an invitation to a life on this earth that matters. Jesus left this final instruction with his followers:

“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

The same Jesus who spoke those words is the same one who broke the power of death over the human race through his resurrection from the dead. This “forever” victory he won, he now gives to us to offer other people. Think about what that means. If you offer Jesus to someone and they receive him as their Savior and Lord, what you did is never going to go away. How does that compare to the other things you’re working for right now?

The Ascension – it means your life right now matters for eternity.

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

Friday, April 22, 2016

Why We Make So Much Out of the Resurrection

The more time passes after a monumental event, the more people tend to forget its significance. Only 150 years have passed since the epic Civil War, yet many are unable to explain why that war started or its significance to American history. Unfortunately, that same type of naïve disinterest is true of many people in regard to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “What’s the big deal?” they ask. “It’s just some story about a guy who lived a long time ago. There are lots of those. Why make such a big deal out of this one?”

First of all, the resurrection is history, it really happened. Jesus of Nazareth was dead on Friday afternoon, buried and placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimethea. On Sunday morning, life came back to the corpse and Jesus was seen that day by more than 20 people on at least 5 different occasions. While our skeptical modern minds quickly dismiss the possibility of such a miracle, a close study of the evidence leads to the opposite conclusion – the resurrection is the best explanation for the empty tomb.

His coming back to life legitimizes and confirms all the claims and promises Jesus made during his teaching ministry. Suddenly, we’re no longer talking about legends, mythology or philosophy, but rather we are confronted by the living God who has a claim on our lives.

The resurrection means death is not the end nor life just a passing fling. Everything, from the sadness to the euphoria of life’s events, is embedded into the context of eternity with eternal implications. Easter changes everything, absolutely everything. Join us this weekend for one of our services and help us make the most out of the resurrection of Jesus!

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

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Second Chance and a Fresh Start

A fresh start – that phrase is so positive, so hopeful. It paints a picture of a new beginning after a long period of rough going. But how often do we really get a fresh start. If we’ve messed up bad, let’s face it, people remember. Sure, they can say it’s all in the past but the truth is, we can feel them just waiting for us to screw up again so they can say, “See, I told you so! You haven’t changed a bit.”

This Sunday we’re going to listen in on a conversation the risen Jesus had with Peter. It takes place maybe a couple of weeks after Easter Sunday. Jesus has appeared to his disciples several times, including a personal visit to Peter. Though he is overjoyed at seeing Jesus alive, there is still a black cloud which hangs over Peter. It is the uncomfortable memory of his denying Jesus three times the night before Christ was crucified.

The talk Jesus has with Peter takes place in the early morning on one of the fishing beaches on the Sea of Galilee. It is not a pleasant conversation but definitely a necessary one. Above all, it is the beginning of a fresh start for Peter as a follower of Jesus Christ. The resurrection means a second chance is available to us all. Not a second chance “with reservations” but rather with a clean slate.

How are you at giving second chances to other people? If you have a hard time with that, join us this weekend for one of our services. Understanding the second chance Jesus offers us is the key to giving people the fresh start they need.

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

Friday, April 8, 2016

Meeting Jesus in the Most Unexpected Places

They weren’t exploring nature, trying to get in touch with their surroundings. No, these two men only wanted to complete the journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus before the sun went down. It was a trip of 8 miles. Nothing out of the ordinary for a person in those days. Walking was the way people got around. It was often boring, usually tiring and always time consuming. And so these two men trudged along, expecting little from the experience. It was just too routine, too ordinary for anything special to happen.

But then Jesus showed up. They didn’t recognize him, at least at first. But they certainly knew he was someone special. What is important for us to consider is how Jesus changed the lives of these two men in a place we would least expect – the open road! At the Temple in Jerusalem, that would be a place we’d expect Jesus to be. Or maybe a synagogue. But not on the road. It’s just too…too common.

If the only place we look for Jesus is in church, we’re missing out on a whole lot of time with him. He promises to be with us everywhere we go. In one of his teachings Jesus said that when we do something kind for another person, we’re doing that act of kindness to him. Maybe we need to look at the routine events and meetings and relationships of our lives differently. Maybe if we looked for Jesus in the daily routine, he’d start showing up in our lives more often. What kind of difference do you think that would make in your life?

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.