Friday, January 25, 2019

He Was Not “Just a Good Man”

When it comes to who Jesus Christ claimed to be, no one has explained the issue better than C.S. Lewis in his best selling book, Mere Christianity.

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

In chapter 25 of the Story Bible, “Jesus, the Son of God”, there is no doubt Jesus not only believed he is the Son of God, but he clearly told people the same thing and then encouraged them to put their faith in him as the one who gives eternal life! The claims he makes are certainly not those of “just a good man”.

Jesus is controversial. He does not allow us to casually consider him and his teachings when time affords us. As God, he demands not only that we recognize him as God, but also receive him as the Savior and Lord of our lives. And what a God he is! Everything changes – forever – because he is not “just a good man”.

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Extraordinary Jesus

More than nineteen hundred years ago, there was a Man born contrary to the laws of nature.

This Man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He did not travel extensively. Only once did he cross the boundary of the country in which he was born.

He possessed neither wealth nor influence. His relatives were inconspicuous and had neither training nor formal education.

In infancy he startled a king; in childhood he puzzled doctors; in manhood he ruled the course of nature, walked upon the waves as pavement, and hushed the sea to sleep.

He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for his service.

He never wrote a book, and yet more books have been written about him than any other person of history.

He never founded a college, but all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students.

He never practiced psychiatry, and yet he has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near.

He never marshaled an army, nor drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun; and yet no leader ever had more volunteers who have freely given up their lives to further his cause.

The names of the past, proud statesmen, scientists, philosophers, and theologians have come and gone. But the name of this Man grows in fame with each passing year.

His enemies could not destroy him, and the grave could not hold him. He stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed as God, acknowledged by angels, adored by saints, and feared by devils. He is the risen, the personal Christ – our Lord and Savior.
Text adapted from the writings of Evangelist Sam Jones.

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Unpredictable Jesus

It becomes clear very early in the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, you can’t put him in a box and make him fit into some type of spiritual leader stereotype. One minute he is being tempted by the devil, the next he is curing a leper. During the first part of one week he spends a few days socializing at a wedding, while in the latter part of the week he turns the Temple in Jerusalem into bedlam. To a ruined woman at a well he tells her straight out he is the Messiah, the Promised Savior of the Old Testament. To a wealthy, aristocratic religious leader he seems to speak in riddles. Jesus…you can never predict what he is going to do.

We might think we would like a Jesus we can figure out. Probably because that would mean we could then control him so that he would do what we want. But maybe that is just the point. As God himself in a human body, Jesus brings a totally different view and purpose to human life. And we can be pretty sure it is going to be very different from ours.

This past week in our daily readings of the Story Bible we accompanied Jesus during the first year of his public ministry. In that short time, he said and did so many things; he changed so many lives. But above all, he came to bring change which only God could.

If you are looking for a god who will pat you on the head, commiserate with your problems and then, with a Grandpa-esque wave of a hand magically take away all your problems so that you can live life on your terms, you won’t find him in Jesus. Yes, there is powerful empathetic emotion in Christ’s dealings with people, but above all, he does everything possible, everything necessary to get them to heaven – that’s what he came for. Sometimes he was gentle, sometimes his methods were tough, but above all, he came to rescue us and that’s exactly what we see him doing.

Join us for one of our weekend services. Be ready to be surprised by the unpredictable Jesus.

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Friday, January 4, 2019

When God Got a Face

We are curious about peoples’ appearances. For instance, if you are reading a book you enjoy very much, on several occasions you probably turned to the back cover to look at the photo of the author. While physical looks can often be deceiving, we feel that just being able to put a face with a name is important.

The birth of Jesus of Nazareth is the event which enabled all human beings to put a face with the name – God. From the beginning of recorded history people have tried to describe God in a concrete way. Some of those attempts have been surreal such as the Hindu god Lord Ganesha who has the body of a man, the nose of an elephant and 4 arms. The idea of a god who cannot be seen or touched or spoken with is for many, unacceptable. And so, an image invented by another human being is the only option.

Throughout the Old Testament, the God of the Israelites made it very clear he would not accept worship through any kind of statue or carving. He did not want people to limit him by their human preconceptions of who and what he should be. But then, suddenly, God reveals himself in the most tangible way possible, he becomes a human being and lives life as we know it for some thirty years.

Jesus didn’t mince words when it came to who he is. On one occasion he said to his disciples, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” In Jesus, God got a face. And what a face it is, full of all the power and majesty we would expect from God joined with an uncompromising commitment to bring us into his family, even if it meant dying on a cross.

This Sunday we begin the New Testament portion of our Story Bible series. If you haven’t been able to accompany the weekly readings up to this point, don’t let that keep you from starting this week. God’s face is too good to not look at!

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 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.