Thursday, December 23, 2021

“The Main Thing Is to Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing”

Sometimes clichés say it all. It is certainly the case regarding “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” and Christmas. Even during a Christmas season that has slowed us down with a tenaciously stubborn pandemic and an irritating supply chain breakdown, still most Americans seem to be hyperventilating with Christmas season energy that has to do with everything but the main thing. 

And the main thing? No, not the eggnog, no matter which variety. Nor the presents, we all know most of them will be forgotten within a week. Not even the family get togethers, for as good as they sometimes are. The main thing has got to be the quietest thing about Christmas – the Nativity scene. Take away the Christ from Christmas and all that is left is a midwestern form of Mardi Gras! 

With Christ, however, everything we celebrate at this time of year changes. If the baby in the manger is God with us (God in human form) and God for us (he will rescue us from our evil), then suddenly all the other activities begin to fade into the background as we take seriously how these truths will affect how we live, our priorities and what happens when we die. These are questions whose answers serve as the foundation of all we are and do. 

If we don’t fix our attention on the main thing, it will be just another Christmas of many. If we do keep the main thing the main thing, we won’t forget this Christmas…ever! 

Christmas and New Year Worship Services

Friday, December 24 - Christmas Eve – 7:00 pm

Saturday, December 25 - Christmas Day – 11:00 am (Potluck dinner after)

Sunday, December 26 – Sunday worship

Saturday, January 1 - New Year’s Day – 6:00 pm with Communion

Sunday, January 2 – 10:00 am worship with Communion

Friday, December 17, 2021

Give Peace a Chance


Most people throughout the world would love to give peace a chance. The complicating question is: ”Peace at what cost?” Every war in history could have been avoided, but each situation would have required that one nation or the other, or both, would have had to give up something to maintain the peace. And that was unacceptable. It’s easy to talk about peace. It is very difficult not only to make peace, but also to maintain it. 

And yet, the solution for the peace famine we see in our world is not complicated. It is extremely hard because it always involves people having to let go of something they want very much or having to do something they very much don’t want to do. As individuals and groups, human beings love to tell others what to do and detest being given orders by someone else. And so, we are a planet at war. 

Many believe that Christmas should be a time which promotes peace. But that so often doesn’t happen because their understanding of peace is that other people just have to try a little bit harder to get along and then everybody will live in harmony, each person getting what they want. The problem inside each one of us, however, requires a solution which is much deeper and more serious than just a general encouragement to try a little harder. 

At its core, the message of Christmas is shocking – God comes to live among human beings. It is so mind boggling that if we comprehend only a fraction of what it means, our lives are compelled to change. God with us! You can’t believe that and stay the same. It also means that if our problem with peace requires God himself to fix it, that problem is God-sized and we’re not going to find peace apart from him. 

The angels said to the shepherds, “Peace on earth.” Peace is what Jesus came to bring, a peace which is deeper, stronger, and longer lasting than any kind of peace we could bring about. If you’re looking for peace in your life, join us for one of our weekend services. Jesus is the best way to give peace a chance. 

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 10:00 am.

Friday, December 10, 2021

The Cloud of Sadness


     The following quote appeared in The New York Times this past week:


      “The United States surgeon general on Tuesday warned that young people are facing ‘devastating’ mental health effects as a result of the challenges experienced by their generation, including the coronavirus pandemic…

      The report cited significant increases in self-reports of depression and anxiety along with more emergency room visits for mental health issues. In the United States, emergency room visits for suicide attempts rose 51 percent for adolescent girls in early 2021 as compared to the same period in 2019. The figure rose 4 percent for boys.

      Globally, symptoms of anxiety and depression doubled during the pandemic, the report noted. But mental health issues were already on the rise in the United States, with emergency room visits related to depression, anxiety and similar conditions up 28 percent between 2011 and 2015.”  Surgeon General Warns of Youth Mental Health Crisis,  The New York Times, Matt Richtel, December 7, 2021 

      There seems to be a dark cloud hanging over our world. The ongoing threat of virus along with all the implications which come with it have left people with a dim view of the future, and even the present. The attitude “Who cares?” seems to be the dominant outlook on life. Not a great way to live, is it? Like the old song, “Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the joy of living is gone.”

      How does a person celebrate Christmas in the midst of such universal sadness? Go back to the basics of Christmas. When we tear away all the rituals and traditions which have become associated with this season over the centuries, we find a shocking proposition which shatters the darkness of depression and thrusts us into the light of joyful living. It’s quite simple. You’ve probably heard it before. But do you believe it? Are you ready to let it take over your life?

      The proposition is this: Jesus Christ is God. He came into this world as a human being for one purpose, to rescue human beings from the sadness we find ourselves in and offer us a new way of living right now and even after we die. If it sounds like a fairy tale, too good to be true, check it out for yourself. The biographers of Jesus don’t begin his story with “Once upon a time…”, but rather, “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus…” Christmas is history. If you doubt it, study the evidence for yourself. It really is worth your while. Think about it, if you don’t, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll spend the rest of your life under the dull, drab cloud of sadness in which we are currently engulfed. That doesn’t sound all that attractive. Why don’t you give the light of Christmas a chance? All of us can use a little more joy in life! 

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 10:00 am.

Friday, December 3, 2021



Usually when we come across the word “counterintuitive” it has the sense of a person doing something that not only doesn’t make sense, but has very negative consequences on their life. We would very much rather be intuitive people, doing those things which make sense and bring us the benefits in life which we want. 

Reading the Bible, however, we find that when God acts in history, he is very counterintuitive by our way of thinking. Nowhere is that more noticeable than in the Christmas story. God becomes a human being and makes his entrance by being born in a stable. His first visitors are shepherds and soon after he has to run for his life to avoid being butchered by a viciously jealous King Herod. That sure isn’t the way most of us would have scripted it. 

But the most frustratingly counterintuitive part of Christmas is the way God designed for us to benefit from it. He says it in one word, “Repent!” Now we like to hear words like renew, rejuvenate, reward, but repent – that just isn’t something we like to deal with. At the heart of repentance is the understanding that God is exactly right about us. Not only are we unable to control our lives, find a solution for death, but worst of all, we’re traitors. No, traitor is not too strong a word. We’ve betrayed God, stole his #1 place in our lives and set ourselves up as Master and King. He alone has the right to those titles, but we’ve stolen them from him and declared, “It’s my life and I’m going to live it the way I want and nobody is going to tell me different.” Such an attitude is disastrous, but we’ve so deceived ourselves we think it’s the only way to live. 

The message of Christmas is about how God rescued us from that delusion. And regardless of how counterintuitive repentance is to us, that is the place to begin in our journey back to God. If you’re looking to maximize Christmas this year, there’s no better way than to understand what repentance is and how it affects our lives. Join us for one of our weekend services! 

Worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm, Sunday: 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.