Friday, October 27, 2023

Stand Fast


An influential government leader prays, even when he is commanded to stop. An unknown Catholic monk continues to speak even when he is threatened with death. Following Jesus Christ has always been risky. When he comes into a person’s life, he demands first place. He will take no other position. That kind of commitment though, is dangerous in a world that is driven by human self-centeredness, pride, and lust. To stand fast for Christ can mean losing everything. 

Some twenty-five hundred years ago Daniel disregarded the law prohibiting him to pray to the living God and was thrown into a lion’s den. Martin Luther nailed a document on a church door on October 31, 1517, calling for a return to a Christ centered, grace-based Christianity. He was condemned, excommunicated, and threatened with death throughout his life.

Both Daniel and Martin Luther were supernaturally protected throughout their earthly lives. They died of natural causes. But it is not always the case. John the Baptist stood fast for Christ and lost his head. Thousands of early Christians refused to renounce Jesus as their Lord and Savior and died by some of the most horrible means imaginable. Tragically, such suffering among believers continues today. 

What motivates a believer to disregard persecution, pain and even death? There can be only one answer: the death which Christ endured for us all and his resurrection which gives us the certainty that the crucifixion opened eternal life for us. It is this belief which enables a Christian to confidently declare, “The sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be shown to us. Romans 8:18”. 

Jesus once said, “If a person has all the money in the world, but ends up separated from God in hell after their death, what good is that?” Those words remind us of what is not only most important, but what is best. He gives us what we need. Never give up on Christ. Stand fast in him! 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am 

Friday, October 20, 2023

The Hospital Church


     Years ago, an influential preacher sent shockwaves through the Christian community when he said that churches had become like country clubs and needed to become more like bars. His point was the church has to be more welcoming. The popular sitcom “Cheers” created the impression that a bar is a place where everyone gets along with everyone else, like a big happy family. That may have been the case with the bar run by Ted Danson and his friends, but the truth is, bars are much more apt to turn people into alcoholics and break up marriages than provide the kind of friendships people need.

      Singer Billie Joel described the social environment of bars well in his song Piano Man with the words,


And the waitress is practicing politics     As the businessmen slowly get stoned Yes, they're sharing a drink they call loneliness     But it's better than drinkin' alone

      A much better comparison for the church would be that of a hospital. Hospitals are where people go for healing, regardless of who they are. But there is a key difference between the church and a hospital. In the church, everyone is both a patient and a healthcare worker. At times one Christian is struggling in their walk with God and needs the help of other believers. Later, when that same Christian has overcome the times of testing, they are able to help other brothers and sisters in Christ. The life of the church is meant to be one of working together in whatever way necessary, encouraging each other to heaven.

      Despite the spectacular prosperity our country has experienced over the last 60 years, people seem to be struggling more today than ever before emotionally and psychologically. There is a sense of emptiness, boredom, and futility. Many are looking desperately for solutions in places that only bring more pain. The purpose of the Christian church is to be a group of people to whom those who are hurting can go for healing. A healing that is not temporary, but eternal. Join us for our Sunday morning worship. Be a part of the healing process! 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Friday, October 13, 2023

Jesus Cares. Will We?


They are some of the most piercing words Jesus spoke. They challenge his followers to the core. In speaking of the day of Judgment Jesus described the contrasting lifestyles of those who  are heaven bound and those headed for hell. He said,   

        Matthew 25:34Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. 36I was lacking clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.’

        37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or lacking clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

        40“The King will answer them, ‘Amen I tell you: Just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.’

        41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire, which is prepared for the Devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you did not give me food to eat. I was thirsty and you did not give me anything to drink. 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, lacking clothes and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not take care of me.’

        44“Then they will also answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or lacking clothes or sick or in prison and did not serve you?’

        45“At that time he will answer them, ‘Amen I tell you: Just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’ 46And they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” 

While it is clear from so many other teachings of Jesus and the writers of the Bible that a human being is saved by trusting in the forgiveness Christ won for us on the cross, there can be no denying the importance Jesus puts on his followers translating his love for them into love they show towards others – especially the weak and vulnerable. 

Our worship service this Sunday gives us an opportunity to live out what Jesus taught – care for those who have difficulty caring for themselves. Pastor Joel Gaertner will be leading a worship service intended to instill in us the caring concern for some of the most vulnerable in our community, those dealing with developmental disabilities, with the hope our congregation might have the opportunity to start an outreach designed for people with such challenges. Salvation is a free gift from God. Service in his kingdom is a necessary by-product of the gift of being saved. Jesus cares for the least of us! Will we? 

Sunday Worship Time: 10:00 am

Friday, October 6, 2023

The Unity Prayer


Having a serious, ongoing disagreement with another person is not only exhausting, it also disrupts every part of our lives, leaving us in a constantly irritable disposition. Fights lead even the most spiritually skeptical of people to pray for some kind of peace. Living in open hostility takes a huge toll on human beings. 

Unfortunately, our prayers for peace too often seem to go unanswered. That may be because we are praying for God to profoundly change the person with whom we are fighting and forget completely about the need for Him to change us! 

In an intense prayer for unity in the New Testament book of Ephesians, a shocking peace principle is proposed. We will get along with others only until we appreciate how God gets along with us. While conflict resolution always requires that both parties make attitude and behavioral changes, the key is the motivating drive behind those changes. Peace for the sake of peace rarely is a strong enough reason for a person to make significant long-term changes in the way they treat other people. Knowing and experiencing the power, strength and love of Jesus Christ is! 

If you are looking to improve your relationships with other people, first look to Jesus. Join us for our worship service this Sunday. Together let’s take a good long look at Him! And then let’s see how we get along with others. 

Sunday Worship Time: 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.