“LORD, now let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word, for my eyes have seen your salvation” (Luke 2:29). God had promised Simeon he would not die before he had seen the promised Savior. Having taken the infant Jesus in his arms, he could leave this life in peace
Having heard the Christmas message, “To you is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,” we too have “seen” the salvation God provides. Every believer can depart this year with the assurance of sins forgiven. He can enter the New Year in peace, no matter what forebodings and uncertainties lie ahead. The Christian can even face death as Simeon did, because this Child as an adult declares, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me, though he die, yet he shall live” (John 11:25). Come for this peace “which the world cannot give” (John 14:27; 16:33; 20:19) to Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday service time is 9:00 a.m.
Gift giving at Christmas began two thousand years ago. “God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). Included in that GIFT is the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23) in contrast to the wages of sin. The forgiveness of sin is not something we earn or deserve. “It is the GIFT of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9,). Speaking of all that comes to us through the BABY born in Bethlehem, the Apostle exclaimed, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable GIFT” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
If you give your child, your friend, your spouse, the latest fashion or the most expensive gift, but fail to pass on to them God’s GIFT of Jesus, they remain impoverished. Come to Peace Lutheran Church to receive this GIFT, to rejoice in this GIFT, and to give this GIFT to family and friends. Sunday service time is 9:00 a.m. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service is at 7:00 p.m.
“Lord, how long?” Isaiah the prophet asked. How long was he to go on preaching and teaching, when the only apparent results were hardened hearts, deaf ears, and blind eyes. God’s answer: “Until the cities are laid waste without inhabitant, the houses without people, the land is utterly desolate.,,,Yet a tenth will be in it” (Isaiah 6:9-13). A hundred years later those words were fulfilled when the Babylonian army laid waste the cities of Judah.
Isaiah had no good news for those who refused to repent: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness,” who “have rejected the Law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 5:20, 24).
For the tenth, for the remnant, for those few who did repent, he spoke forgiveness, “white as snow” (1:18) because the Son born of a virgin, Immanuel (7:14), the Mighty God, Prince of Peace (9:7) would be “wounded for our transgressions…cut off out of the land of the living for these transgressions (53:5, 8). “How long?” The words of Isaiah are timeless, a warning and comfort to our generation. Sunday services at 9:00 a.m. Advent Service on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Service at 7:00 p.m.
“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” Like pigs lured into a trap by free corn, so people allow themselves to be lured into bondage by government “handouts,” and for a while they like it. There is a parallel in Christianity. Christians are lured to disregard God’s commandments protecting marriage, life, property, and reputation. They are lured even to rethink God as one other than their Creator. There is the ever-present temptation to conform to the culture intellectually, in “scientific” thought, and in behavior. By conforming, they may even feel “free” for a time and like it, but the Bible describes them as “slaves of depravity” (2 Peter 2:19). The price for keeping true Christianity “is eternal vigilance.” The Christian is admonished, “Be sober, be vigilant” (1 Peter 5:8).
Jesus promised, “If you continue in My Word, you are My disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Continue with us in God’s Word at Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday service time is 9:00 a.m. Advent services are Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.
In 1885 the New York Times quoted this sentence from a Supreme Court decision: “The union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony is the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization.” The current redefinition of marriage, and the increasing number living as though marriage should be redefined, is confirming this Supreme Court decision of another generation. Despise this definition, which comes right out of the Bible, and chaos erupts. Life itself is cheapened. Women are viewed as play toys. Men live as barbarians. If there is no widespread repentance, one can predict without error that every value we hold dear will be lost.
Pray that we and our fellow citizens heed the call: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD (the God of the Bible, the Creator), and He will have mercy; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). This repentance and forgiveness though Jesus Christ will return us to God’s great gift of marriage. Begin this renewal with Peace Lutheran Church. Sunday Service time is 9:00 a.m. Advent Services are on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.