Another Year

The Psalmist prayed, “O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am.  Behold, you have made my days as a few handbreadths, and my life time is as nothing before you.  And now, O LORD, for what do I wait?  My hope is in You” (Psalm 39:4-7).  For the young time passes ever so slowly.  For the elderly time races to the finish line.  Leaving the old year and entering a new year reminds us of the passing of time, whether fast or slow;  it inexorably moves on, bringing one nearer to the day of death.  So it has been for every sinful person since Adam sinned.

This dismal thought brings the sinner to despair except for the hope which God offers.  In the Scripture God promises this hope to all who believe.  The true Christmas celebration was that “Christ partook of flesh and blood that through death He might destroy him who has the power over death, that is the devil, and deliver us who through fear of death were all our lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:14).  The believer in Christ enters another year “to serve without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life” (Luke 1:75).  Come, start the year with this hope at Peace Lutheran Church.  Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.

YOU are the reason for the season

The mad rush of Christmas, preparing for feasting and gift giving, has led to the slogan, “Jesus is the reason for the season.”  It is good to get together with family and friends and enjoy the bounty of harvest and the fun of opening gifts.   The real glad tidings of great joy, however, is from the Christmas messenger, “Unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”  As promised for over a thousand years, He was born in this world of war, crime, conflict, disease, and death,  all the result of sin, humanity rebelling against God.  He came to make peace with God by reconciling us to Himself, “making peace through the blood of the cross.”

It is fitting that we let God remind us through His the Biblical narrative (Luke 2:1-21; Matt. 1:18-25) that “Jesus is the reason for the season.”  In another sense though, “you are the reason for the season.”  Because you have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and thereby fall under His eternal wrath, Jesus was born.  He is named JESUS “because He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).  “You are the reason for the season.”  Come, rejoice with the people of Peace Lutheran Church on Sunday 10:00 a.m.

Repentant Fathers

A symptom of a society turning from God is when fathers no longer care about their children, and when children no longer honor fathers.  This is obviously a result of a sexually loose culture that has little regard for marriage.  For the “boyfriend” only interested in sex, fatherhood is a catastrophe, and the “boy” often abandons the mother and his child to be supported by the state.

In a prophecy of John the Baptist God speaks through the Prophet Malachi, “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse” (4:5,6).  No culture and no nation can survive when fathers do not care enough to guide and discipline their children.  God will strike that family, that culture, that nation with a curse.  John, in preparing for the coming Savior, said, “Repent.”  He directed those who confessed their sins to Jesus Christ, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).  “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and He who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (3:36).  Fathers who repent will want their children to know this forgiveness and life.  Come to Peace Lutheran Church.  Sunday service time is 10:00 a.m.,  Christmas Eve service at 6:00 p.m.

Letter to the Editor

12-5-14

Texarkana Gazette

Texarkana, Texas

Dear Editor,

If I learned that my son had taken an item for which he had no intention to pay, I would be deeply grieved. My grief would be caused at least in part that I had failed to impress upon him that it is wrong to steal.

This grief would be compounded if in the course of stealing he were apprehended  by the police, resisted arrest,  and while resisting arrest was killed.  My grief would be like that of King David whose son, Absalom, died in the act of rebellion.  He cried, “O Absalom, my son, my son; would that I had died for you, O Absalom, my son” (2 Samuel 18:33).

There would be no comfort in accusing the police of being brutal and unfair, even if my subjective opinion as a father thought so. My only comfort would be that God forgives my failure in His mercy for Christ’s sake. 

Then because order among people is always fragile, I would pray that people, our youth especially, may hear the Biblical mandate concerning governmental authority, “If you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword (or carry the gun) in vain.  For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4).  As God gives us government to restrain evil, we pray for those in authority, as their lives are in constant jeopardy,  that they may be fair and reasonable in such restraint.

Sincerely,

Robert W. Hill   Hooks, Texas

Jesus Comes

When guests are anticipated, the diligent hostess prepares.  She cleans the house, sets thing in order, and prepares food.  The season of ADVENT (November 27 until Christmas) is one of anticipation of the coming of Jesus Christ.  Proper preparation includes recognition of one’s sins such as:  disregarding God’s commandments, doubting His Word, doing without God in the pride of self-sufficiency, or delving into the despair of His grace.  For the one who does not recognize His sin, the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, and the message of the angels, “To you is born…the Savior”  is meaningless; Christmas is meaningless.

Jesus Christ also comes when He is proclaimed as the Savior of the World.  He comes in the waters of Baptism and in the observing of the Supper of our Lord.  He will come at the Last Day to judge the world. However He comes, the preparation is the same, realizing “I am a sinner with whom God is justly angry.” With this preparation it is Good News to hear, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).  Come prepare with the people of Peace Lutheran Church.  Sundays Service time is 10:00 a.m.