Friday, April 29, 2022

The Message Is the Mission


It is one of those intimidating moments, hearing someone shout, “I don’t care what you do, just get it done!” What’s so unnerving about that kind of command is that you know whatever has to be done, isn’t going to happen easily. And to make matters worse, you won’t be given any direction, guidance, or help. It’s all on your shoulders! That is not a pleasant situation to be in. 

After his resurrection, Jesus Christ gave his followers a mission – one that continues to be valid to this day. He said, “Go and gather disciples from all nations by baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and by teaching them to keep all the instructions I have given you.” A tall order, to say the least. But Jesus didn’t walk away yelling, “Just figure it out and get it done.” Instead, he gave those first disciples not only the life-altering message of his death and resurrection but also promised that both he and the Holy Spirit would be with them in carrying out this task. A supernatural message with supernatural support. Now that’s a mission to be part of. 

Jesus once said, “The field is ripe, but the harvesters are few.” He was saying that there are a whole lot of hurting people in the world needing what only he offers. The tragedy is, so many of us Christians are hesitant to give those people what they so desperately need. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you automatically are part of his mission. Whether it’s easy or difficult for you to talk about your faith in Christ, you are part of his plan to bring other people back into his family. That mission is of the greatest importance, and it brings the greatest of blessings! Join us for one of our weekend worship services. Be a part of the mission! 

Weekend worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm – Sunday: 10:00 am

Friday, April 22, 2022

Cool! But What Does It Mean?

Easter Sunday is always so positive! The hymns are upbeat. The church is beautiful. Everyone greets each other with, “He is risen!” To which we reply, “He is risen indeed!” Wouldn’t it be great if every Sunday was like that? Now that is a good question. An even better question is, “Why don’t we celebrate Easter everyday of our lives?” 

Maybe the problem is, we really don’t understand the message of the resurrection. Sure, we all get it that Jesus was dead and three days later he was alive. We acknowledge that the most incredible miracle of all time had taken place. But maybe we are more like the honest Christian who said, “I believe Jesus rose from the dead, I just don’t understand what it means to me,” than we would like to admit. Don’t roll your eyes in amazement that a person calling themself a Christian could say something like that. How would you respond if someone were to ask, “Tell me how the resurrection of Jesus makes a difference in your day-to-day life?” 

Apparently, the disciples had a problem grasping the full sense of what it meant for Jesus to be alive after his crucifixion. On Easter Day, at least two times, we’re told that Jesus had to “open the minds of his disciples” about what they were witnessing. The resurrection is about so much more than just the eye-popping fact that Jesus reversed the natural laws of death and decomposition. Whether we are confused about our reason for being alive or depressed about the way our life is going or we’re terrified about the prospect of growing old and dying, the resurrection fundamentally transforms our understanding of all the difficult issues in life with which we struggle. The message is as important as the miracle. 

If the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ hasn’t been unleashed in your life, join us for one of our worship services. Whether it sounds like a cliché or not, it’s true, the resurrection changes everything!     

Weekend worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm – Sunday: 10:00 am 

Friday, April 15, 2022

It Either Happened or It Didn’t


With some things in life, it all comes down to the very simple statement, “It either happened or it didn’t.” Whichever it may be, things become clear based on what actually took place. There is no more relevant example of this than with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Either it happened or it didn’t. Either his corpse miraculously came to life and he physically left the tomb or his cadaver is still there, or buried in some other place. There isn’t room for “maybe” when it comes to the resurrection. While that seems confrontational, this perspective enables us to appreciate the enormous importance of what happened on the day we call Easter. 

If Jesus did physically rise from the dead, everything that he said about himself and all that he promised those who put their trust in him as the Messiah, is true. Not only is it true, but those teachings and promises are worth both living and dying for. If Christ did not leave the tomb in his body, then he is little more than a strange footnote in history. 

For two thousand years millions of people throughout the world have celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. For two thousand years many other people have tried by all means available to explain away the resurrection. But they have not succeeded. The best answer to the question, “Where is the body?” continues to be the first, “He is not here, he has risen, just as he said.” 

There is an old Easter greeting which is still popular today. On meeting, one Christian says, “He is risen!” To which the other responds, “He is risen indeed.” All of which is to say, “It happened! Jesus is alive!” There is no better, no more life and eternity changing message than this!     

Weekend worship service time: Sunday: 10:00 am

(Saturday service cancelled this week only.)

Friday, April 8, 2022

The Week that Divided History


It all began that Sunday afternoon almost comically. Thousands of pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem to celebrate the yearly Passover festival jumping, shouting, waving palm branches all because an itinerant preacher from Galilee was making his way into Jerusalem on a donkey! 

The next day that same preacher was like a bull in a China shop as he berated moneychangers in the Temple. Throughout that day and the next, he became increasingly more confrontational towards the religious powerbrokers of the nation of Israel. To those who followed him, the preacher spoke of difficult, dangerous times ahead. 

On Thursday, there was a calm before the storm. A meal with his students. Fellowship, teaching, and new rituals. Strange but powerful rituals. After dinner, the group went out to a well-known garden to pray. That’s when the pace picked up. Not long into the night soldiers led by one of the preacher’s disciples came to the garden and arrested him, taking the tightly bound prisoner to the High Priest to go on trial. 

Several trials were held that night and into the next day, leading to a final condemnation by the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. The charge? Claiming to be the Son of God and a potential threat to Roman law and order. The sentence? Death by crucifixion. 

The sentence was carried out effectively but not before a series of surreal and wonderful events took place. By three in the afternoon on Friday, the preacher known as Jesus of Nazareth was dead. All that was left to complete his story was his burial, carried out by two of his followers. 

It seemed to be the end of the story. But on the following Sunday morning, the script would be re-written in a way which would change history. Dead people don’t come back to life, no matter how they died. But Jesus did. And that changed not only history, it changed forever. 

The week we are beginning this Sunday, known as Palm Sunday, is called Holy Week. During the next seven days we will study, consider, and stand in awe of events which have changed the lives of millions throughout the centuries. 

Join us for one of our weekend worship services. What happened during this week more than 2000 years ago is too important to let pass by unnoticed.     

Weekend worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm & Sunday: 10:00 am

Friday, April 1, 2022

Jell-O Truth


You have to be older to appreciate the joys of Jell-O. When it first came out, Jell-o was absolutely captivating. Not so much for the taste, but for its color and moldability. The bright reds, yellows and greens of Jell-O could make even the drabbest dinner of meat loaf and mashed potatoes seem vibrant. But even more thrilling was the fact that one never knew what shape the Jell-O would take. For most it came in a bowl, but for those who had more daring meal preparers, one might expect just about anything from Jell-O in the form of a fish, a bird, a building. You name it, Jell-O could be molded in that form. 

Ever changing Jell-O forms are fun and diverting. But when human beings try to do the same thing with truth, the results aren’t as positive. Pontius Pilate summarized Jell-O truth when he sarcastically asked Jesus of Nazareth the question, “What is truth?” That question is still on the lips of billions of people 2000 years later. The venerable Mark Twain said, “Never let truth get in the way of a good story.” To the question, “Does truth still matter,” an article in Fortune magazine responded, “Yes, but we must be careful how we define truth.” 

The truth about truth is that if you ask 10 people how they define truth you will probably get 10 different answers. It seems like the most culturally acceptable answer to the question, “What is truth?” is, “Whatever you want it to be.” Sounds open minded, right? You believe what you want about truth, and I believe what I want, and everybody is cool. 

But then there is what Jesus says about truth. He makes us very uncomfortable with the whole subject when he says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” So maybe truth isn’t as much like Jell-O as we thought. And once you discover the truth of Jesus, you’ll be very glad it isn’t.     

Weekend 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.