Friday, January 31, 2020

Imagine having a friend tell you, “I’ve got $10 million that I am going to give you.” Elated, you hug the person, maybe even jump up and down a few times and begin to plan all the wonderful things you are going to do with your fortune. But suddenly there is an uncomfortable silence as you wait for him to tell you when and how he is going to get the money to you. You become even more puzzled when your friend turns and says, “Have a good rest of the day.”

Frantic, you run after him and ask, “But where is the money?”

To which he replies, “Oh, that I’m not going to tell you.”

$10 million is a lot of money but it doesn’t do you any good if you don’t know where it is. A lot of people talk about God and how important he is, but then in the next breath say, “But we can never really know who he is or what he does.” An “unknowable God” is much like the hidden $10 million dollars – he’s out there but what good does he really do for us?

This weekend we’ll be considering the work of the Holy Spirit as we continue our study of the earliest Christian statement of belief, the Apostles’ Creed. Far from being a vague, ether like force, the Holy Spirit makes personal to us the saving work of Jesus Christ. It is his supernatural power working in the lives of human beings which opens hearts and minds to the forgiveness of Christ. Simply put, the Holy Spirit creates faith in Christ so that we can be a part of God’s family and receive all the blessings he gives his children.

If God seems to be hiding from you, join us for one of our services this weekend. It may be that someone else is doing the hiding.

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

Friday, January 24, 2020

We talk about “enjoying” a good dinner at a restaurant or an exciting football game or even a walk on the beach. When it comes to God, we may say he is our comfort and strength. We may describe a worship service as inspiring or encouraging. But how often have you said, “I enjoy having God in my life?”

We might say, “Enjoy isn’t a dignified enough term for God.” And that very well could be true. Be honest, though, don’t you really like the things you enjoy? Sure, we all do. And that is just the point, God created us to worship, reverence, respect and glorify him. But he also wants us to like him and enjoy having him be the center of our lives.

When we feel obligated to do something, like spend an evening with people we don’t much care for, we say, “I’ve got to go to this get together tonight.” On the other hand, if those people we’re going out with are close friends that we very much enjoy spending time with, we say, “I get to go out tonight with my friends.”

The man in the photo above has a “got to” relationship with God. He feels obligated possibly by peer pressure or guilt to fulfill certain religious duties. God made us with too much care and purpose for us to see him as an obligation. He created us to enjoy him and everything he is – forever.

Join us for one of our weekend worship services and start enjoying God!

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

Friday, January 17, 2020

The earliest formal statement of Christian beliefs begins with the straightforward sentence, “I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.” We associate that affirmation with God’s creation of the material universe and all life. But have you ever stopped to think of what it means to call the One who created you, “Father”?

We live a pretty cold world which judges people on how much they benefit those around them. If a person can produce something everyone wants, their value is high. But what about those who can’t do those things, the “common” people. What is their value? And then, what about those who have trouble just getting through the day, people who have medical or emotional issues and need help surviving? Is the value of human life based on a competitive barter system? The declaration, “I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth,” blasts away such an idea.

The Bible describes God as the Father of Fathers, the One who knows us through and through and yet still loves us with a commitment that never wavers. There is a 3000 year old poem which describes our Father as a caring, protective shepherd who does whatever is necessary to do what is best for his sheep. As you prepare for the activities of the weekend, take a few moments to read Psalm 23 and then say a prayer beginning with these words, “Dear Father…”

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

Friday, January 10, 2020

Most people want God to be a part of their lives…as long as what he says and does agrees with their way of thinking. In recent years many people have expressed the idea that much of what the Bible says about God no longer applies to people living in the year 2020. The idea that God does not approve of certain types of behavior or is holy and just or even refuses to be adapted over the centuries to become more culturally acceptable, is repugnant to them. One particularly offensive teaching of the Bible is what Christians have called the Trinity. It means that God has revealed himself to human beings as One God, but in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Of course, the primary objection is, such a concept as the Trinity doesn’t make sense to human beings and therefore can’t be true. Christians have never claimed that it does make sense. But one must ask, does God depend on human beings to define who he is or does God define himself? Maybe the best answer to that question is another question, “Do you really want to put your eternal destiny in a god you yourself invented.”

The God who is, who has always existed and always will, refuses to be changed or tweaked by the people he himself created. It almost seems very logical that the infinite, all powerful, holy God would describe himself in ways beyond our human understanding.

The main reason, however, Christians gladly believe and hold sacred the teaching of the Trinity is what it means to our daily lives. We’re not in the dark about who God is or what he has done for us. Death is no longer the end of our existence and life after death is something to which we look forward. Let God be God and thank him for being exactly as he is!

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

Friday, January 3, 2020

As you look forward to this new year, think of each day as a door through which you must pass but through which you will never return. Will you blindly barge through those 365 doors, overwhelmed by the massive load of responsibilities which you feel obligated to carry? Will the doors represent the grinding routine of daily life, reducing existence to machine-like repetition? Or, will you see a connection between each one of those doors uniting what might at first glance seem to be random experiences into an exquisite mosaic of human life?

Will there be any kind of sign or message on the doors as you approach them day after day? Will they have the words, “Same old, same old”, “Fear”, “Uncertainty” painted on them? Or will your doors of 2020 have the engraved message, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”?

Every day is a fresh start for those who follow Jesus Christ, but the first days of the year are an especially appropriate time to focus on this new beginning. It is an opportunity to get first things first as we embark on one more chapter of our lives. Join us for one of our worship services this weekend. Together let’s enter 2020 with our hearts and minds fixed on what matters.

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.