Holy Innocents Day

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” so goes ones of the secular songs of Christmas. Since no mention is made of “Christ the LORD” the wonder part of Christmas must be in friendships, singing, gifts, family and feasting. The Church chose the day after Christmas as “Saint Stephen, Martyr Day” (Acts 7). If this outward celebration were all there is to Christmas, it would not have been such a wonderful time for Stephen and his family. The Church set aside December 28 as “Holy Innocents Day” commemorating the lives of the babies slain in Bethlehem at the order of Herod the King who intended to kill Jesus (Matthew 2).  For those mothers in Bethlehem this was a time of grief.

Martyrdom and dying still goes on at Christmas time throughout the world. The wonderful part is that these can depart in peace, as did Stephen who confidently said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Those who have come to know “Christ the Lord”, who is also the crucified and risen Redeemer, “do not grieve as those who have no hope’ (1 Thessalonians 4).  Even because of their grief the coming of Jesus Christ into this world is “glad tidings of great joy!” (Luke 2).

Come to Peace Lutheran Church to receive this most wonderful news.

Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

Let’s keep Christ in Christmas

“Let’s keep Christ in Christmas.” Let us also keep God in Christ!

Christendom celebrates more than a birthday, though that is how God chose to become man. The WORD (God) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). He is Immanuel, GOD WITH US!

(Matthew 1:23). The angels announced the baby born in Bethlehem to be “Christ the LORD! (Luke 2:11). In prophecy He is called “The LORD our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6), and though a child born He is called “the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6).

He chose to become Man in order to take our place under the law and die to satisfy the justice of God. As God this sacrifice is sufficient to cover the sins of all mankind, so all are invited, “Whoever believes on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). In His mighty power as God he defeated Satan and Death. This victory will be clear when He comes again to judge the living and the dead. (John 5:28,29).

At Christmas Satan seeks to distract you so that Christ is left out of Christmas, and you neglect to recognize He is God come to save you from sin, death, and damnation. Come celebrate at Peace Lutheran Church.

Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell

So the “Don’t ask; don’t tell” policy is being challenged. This can only mean that the homosexuals can be open about their way of life and still be accepted in the military. Does this also mean that one who is openly a kleptomaniac, or a womanizer, or an incessant liar, or a murderer also be accepted?

If such an one is going to “tell”, the person who hears the telling should be a chaplain, priest, or pastor, who is sworn to secrecy what is told in the confessional; and the telling from a Biblical perspective should be done in sorrow and shame. The pastor can then point these people to the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ who forgives sins and changes lives. “If say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Come to Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service 6:00 p.m.

Christmas Focus

The head of the household would do well to take the family traditions of Christmas and direct them to Jesus. As gifts are placed under the tree, we celebrate the greatest of all gifts, “The gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

The tree decorated with memories of past Christmases sadly brings to mind the tree by which mankind fell into sin (Genesis 3), but the tree also happily brings to mind the tree of the cross on which this Child of Christmas will die to redeem sinful mankind (Galatians 3:13). The lights point to Jesus who is the light that shatters the darkness of those who sit in the land of the shadow of death (Matthew 4:16). The Star out of Jacob (Numbers 24:17), the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2), the Morning Star (2 Peter 1:19) is pictured by the star atop the tree. Or if an angel, he brings the message, “To you is born…the Savior who is Christ the LORD” (Luke 2:11).

In this way the “glad tiding of great joy” will fill your life and those you love this Christmas.

Come to Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m. Advent Services on Wednesday 7:00 p.m.

Christmas Distractions

Christmas celebrates the birth of a baby in Bethlehem of Judea. More than that it celebrates “The WORD (God) became flesh (a human being)” (John 1:14), “Great is the mystery of godliness, God was made known in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16). In prophecy the child born is “called wonderful, counselor, mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), and He is named “Immanuel, God with us” (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23). At His birth the angel announces, “To you…a Savior, who is Christ the LORD (In the Old Testament, Yahweh or Jehovah is translated LORD) (Luke 2:11). His enemies would execute Him for claiming to be the “I AM” who predates Abraham (John 8:58; Exodus 3:14).

Even as he refers to Himself as The Son of God, they recognize that “You being a man make Yourself God” (John 10:33) for which reason they are ready to stone Him, and ultimately condemn Him to be crucified (Luke 22:67-71).  “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Cor. 5:19), and this He did by becoming “sin for us” (5:21) on the cross. He is the ransom price to satisfy the justice of His law “that we may become the righteousness of God in Him (5:21).

Put aside some of the Christmas distractions and contemplate this great GIFT of God. Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Church.

Advent Service, Wednesday 7:00 p.m.