Friday, December 30, 2016

You Have a Part in God’s 2017

How do you feel about the coming of the new year – 2017? Some people are extremely pessimistic while others believe this year might be the beginning of good things for them. Christians have emotions like everyone else, yet, for whatever we feel, we are part of something much bigger. When Jesus left this earth he made it clear he wasn’t abandoning it, just ruling it in a less visible way.

As you look ahead to the future, give the following passage some thought.

Ephesians 1:22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.

The church is made up of all people who have received Jesus Christ into their hearts as Savior and Lord. Now that passage from Ephesians says that Christ is ruling human history so that the church will be blessed.

After Jesus rose from the dead he told his followers that they would be his visible, physical representatives in this world. That means in 2017 we will have a part in Christ carrying out his plan for each human being and humanity as a whole. That massive truth shatters any fear we might have of the coming year and it overwhelms any positive expectations. To put it simply, you have a role to play in God shaping eternity. What could be more exciting?

There is no better way to begin the new year than to be in the presence of your Lord with other Christians: worshiping, singing, praising, praying, confessing, learning and taking Holy Communion.

New Year’s Eve worship at Rainbow Pavilion: 5:30 pm
New Year’s Day worship: 10:00 am

Friday, December 23, 2016


The message of Christmas is shocking! There is no other way to put it. Unfortunately, over the years our culture has so watered it down that for most Christmas is just a time of relaxation, enjoying a break at the end of the year, exchanging gifts and hoping for just a little more peace in our violence driven world. That, however, is a far, far cry from what actually happened.

Matthew, Luke and John leave no doubt – Christmas is about God entering the planet earth as a human being and living in history among the people he created.

Don’t read over the previous sentence too fast. If it is true, none of us can be the same. If God came into the world to tell us about himself, can anything even come close to matching that in importance? Really, if we can know God, how could money, or power or anything compare to that? Knowing God is the holy grail of human life! And it is exactly for that reason Christians make so much out of Christmas. God coming into this world did change everything, forever.

Skeptics wonder, “God was born as a human being of a woman who was a virgin?” Well, a lot of people believe everything came from nothing. That takes a lot of faith too! If you are skeptical about Christmas, think about all the things you have to take by faith such as the origin of matter and life, the exquisite fine tuning of the universe, that human life has a meaning and purpose. Yes, everyone lives by faith in something. What matters is that what we put our faith in is reliable.

Give the Christmas message the chance this year to demonstrate that it is worthy, very worthy of your trust.

Christmas Eve worship: 7:00 pm
Christmas Day worship: 10:00 am

Friday, December 16, 2016

Never the Same

They were just a small group of “nobody” shepherds. Men and boys who lived solitary, lonely lives. So disregarded was the profession of the shepherd that their testimony in a court of law held less weight than that of other people.

But the night of Christmas changed everything for those shepherds watching over their sheep on the plains of Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. While they were overwhelmed by the supernatural concert put on by the angels, little did they know how much what they had seen and heard would alter the course of not only human history, but of eternity.

And that night changed those men. They would never be the same. No one can see Jesus Christ face to face without something happening to them. After leaving the manger scene, they could not hold in the news. As they returned to their sheep these usually timid men enthusiastically shared with all they met what they had seen and heard.

Years later the older people of Bethlehem would shake their heads in disbelief when the subject of those shepherds came up. And one phrase was repeated by all those who had known them. “They were never the same after that night!”

Join us this weekend for one of our services. And may the same be said of our reaction to the angels’ announcement, “They were never the same!”

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

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Loss of Innocence

The veteran Christmas gift giver will sneer with cynicism at the words, “It is better to give than to receive.” Not so for a young child. Watch the little ones at Christmas who have reached the age at which they can save a little money to buy a gift for their mom and dad – they are the most excited. And it isn’t because of the gifts they will receive. No, their anticipation is to see the reaction of mom and dad when they open the hard earned gift the little one has bought for them.

The present may cost only a few dollars. It may be something the child has made. But to that youngster, it is an expression of all they feel for the ones they love most in this world. It’s a gift that is meant to please and to see that pleasure on their parent’s face is what they most want at Christmas.

Unfortunately, such enthusiasm for giving quickly vanishes and the little child soon begins to learn the art of buying an acceptable gift at the lowest price possible in order to fulfill a social obligation. The child has lost its gift giving innocence.

Giving something we own to someone else is extremely difficult in most cases. And yet Jesus talked more about giving than he did about heaven or prayer. To him, the way we use our time, abilities and material possessions is a reflection on our relationship with him. While it is easy to say, “Jesus is my Savior and the Lord of my life,” our ability or inability to freely give is a pretty accurate indicator if we truly mean that statement.

Most people think the most dangerous sins are the ones that give us pleasure. According to Jesus, what really threatens us is the idol of the attitude: “my time and my stuff” which secretly resides in our hearts. The wise men worshiped Jesus as King. They confirmed their words with their gifts. Because of Christmas, there’s no reason to lose the giving innocence.

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

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Take Christ Out of Christmas and There Isn’t Much Left

Three situations:

A restless child in a car trying to get out of its child seat.
A man who is overwhelmed with debts and could lose his home.
A woman who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

While the circumstances are very different, the cry for help of each person probably is the same: “Oh God, save me!” When we are at wits end, when we can find nothing within ourselves to solve our problems, we turn with great or little faith to God and plead for salvation.

People have many different ideas about Christmas and its meaning, but the description of the angels on that first Christmas night continues to be the only legitimate reason for celebrating. They told the shepherds, “Today in the town of David (Bethlehem) a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

A lot will be said about peace on earth and the lack of it during the coming weeks. But to speak of world peace apart from the salvation Jesus Christ brought makes little sense. Salvation has to come from God, human history has proven that. And salvation has to be from sin, for that is the root of all the evils which we lament in our society.

The historic message of Christmas – Jesus Christ came to save sinners – might cause yawns among some. It is, however, what continues to rock heaven and earth in the spiritual world. And regardless of what people may say, there will come a day when all people of all time will fall to their knees and in awe proclaim, “Jesus is Savior and Lord.” But for this statement to mean anything at that moment, it needs to be spoken today.

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.