Friday, December 29, 2017

The Question of 2018

What do you imagine the upcoming year is going to bring into your life? Will it be a year of dramatic change or more of the same old? Are you looking forward to 2018 with excitement or dread? Have you made resolutions which you believe are going to make a significant difference? Or, are you humorously cynical about all the hoopla made by the changing of the calendar? Lots of questions, questions that might not even be all that important.

Maybe the only question which really matters as we prepare to dash through December 31 into January 1 is: “Who is going to call the shots in my life during 2018?” If the answer is an incredulous, “Me! Who else?”, then about all one can be certain of is a 12 month roller coaster ride. But there is a different way to approach 2018. It’s not the most popular way but it is different.

In a short letter written to a group of Christians living in a city located in Western Turkey, a man named Paul stopped right in mid-sentence to say a prayer for the people to whom he addressed the letter. It’s a prayer that those people would have what is most important in life, that it would literally take them over. In a few words he prayed, “May Jesus Christ live in you and through you, may he save you and lead you daily to heaven.” What this man prayed 2000 years ago for a small group of people serves as a tremendous inspiration for those facing the new year with uncertainty. Rather than a roller coaster ride, a 2018 with Jesus will be a year of blessing and being a blessing regardless of the external circumstances.

This Sunday morning we’re going to try to go deep into this new year’s prayer. If you’re not sure about the coming year, please join us.

Sunday, December 31 morning worship: 10:00 am
Sunday, December 31 evening devotion & picnic: 6:00 pm

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Day Which Divides Time

Whether you say B.C. and A.D. or BCE and CE, the terms refer to the same thing – human history before the birth of Christ and human history after the birth of Christ. And it is right being so – God coming to this earth as a human being is and always will be the most spectacular event in time. But the message of Christmas is not just meant to be a divider of historical eras, it is the greatest invitation ever offered to each and every person. Christmas is God himself coming to us as individuals and saying,

You aren’t the way you were made to be. I can change that.
Acknowledge your sin. Receive my forgiveness.
Come into my family.
Experience my blessings.
Know that you will live with me for eternity, without pain, without fighting, without self-centeredness, without death.

That’s the magnificent message of the manger.

Sunday, December 24 morning worship: 10:00 am
Sunday, December 24 evening worship: 7:00 pm
Monday, December 25 morning worship: 11:00 am

Friday, December 15, 2017

Polar Opposites

The wise men and King Herod are the main characters of the second chapter of Matthew’s gospel, but that is about all these men share in common. They are what we would call polar opposites. The wise men put their lives on the line to discover the miracle of Christmas, while Herod did everything in his power to kill Christmas. The wise men had little to go on other than some vague Old Testament references and a star, and yet they let nothing deter them from finding their King. Herod, was surrounded by Messiah scholars who spent their lives studying what God had promised concerning the coming Savior and still could only think of himself, his power and his ego. After worshiping their newborn King, the wise men rode off into the distance to serve God until he would take them to be with him in heaven. Herod boiled in this jealousy for a few more years until he died an excruciatingly painful death and went to hell where he could run his own life without interference, finally free of God’s presence forever.

It’s the old story of the wise and the foolish. Join us for one of our services this weekend. Together let’s take the path of the wise this Christmas!

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

Friday, December 8, 2017

Worship Works Wonders

The title of this article seems a little misleading when you look at Mr. Bean struggling to stay awake in church. Unfortunately, for many of us this is our all too often mental image of worship. But it doesn’t have to be. Contrast Mr. Bean with the angels on that first Christmas night who appeared to the shepherds thundering, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests!” The words they spoke resound with excitement and enthusiasm.

What has happened to us 2000 year later? Has hearing the same story over and over diluted the power of the message? Have we become spiritually lazy by falling into the trap of wanting to be entertained rather than giving of ourselves in worship? Has our prosperity dulled our sensitivity to the urgency of the Christmas message?

Whatever the reason might be, we are not condemned to boring worship. The worship which transformed the lives of millions of people in the past is still available to us today. Join us for one of our weekend services. Together let’s open our hearts to worship which transforms lives for eternity!

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

Friday, December 1, 2017

God Has a Face

The man shook his head. There were just too many obstacles for him to overcome his disbelief. With a tired voice he sighed,

“If I could just talk to God, face to face, that would be enough. That would clear up my doubts. Just five minutes alone with him. Is it too much to ask?”

Christmas is upon us once again. A time of year that is filled not only with activities but also expectation and excitement. It just seems that we all have a little more hope about life during this time. And that is no unfounded hope for the simple message of Christmas is the answer to the man’s request in the opening paragraph and also the foundation for the hope that life can be better. In the opening chapter of his history of Jesus’ life, John makes this astounding claim:

"So the Word (Jesus) became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son." John 1:14

Since the beginning of time people have wondered what God is like. On the first Christmas God took the initiative to reveal himself to humanity in the most specific way possible – he came to live on this earth as one of us. Now God has a face. And what a face it is! This Sunday, as we begin our Advent celebrations, we are going to study various events in Jesus life which powerfully describe the face of God. A person can’t see God and ever be the same. Join us for one of our weekend worship services.

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

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

My photo
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.