Have you made your list and checked it twice? Are your stockings hung with care? Do you have all the ingredients for the homemade pumpkin pie? Are the pretty packages all wrapped up under the tree? At this time of year we often find ourselves hurrying around making sure everything is ready for the big day. We make many stops—the mall, the grocery store, the post office to name a few. With all that running around we can forget the real reason why we celebrate Christmas.
Let’s take a moment and pause and remember. The most important place to stop is at the stable in Bethlehem, so that we, like the shepherds, can kneel before the manger and worship our newborn king, the baby Jesus who came to be our Savior. Oh, come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.
- Published: 21 December 2019 21 December 2019
- Last Updated: 21 December 2019 21 December 2019
Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent, is unique among the Sunday’s of Advent. Though part of Advent, it stands out from it. The pink, or more correctly, the rose candle symbolizes joy in the midst of darkness, mourning and sadness and so this week is set apart from all the other weeks of Advent, which focus on things like repentance and Christ’s coming. Gaudete Sunday gives us another perspective and a glimpse of the joy that awaits us.
- Published: 14 December 2019 14 December 2019
- Last Updated: 14 December 2019 14 December 2019
Now that Thanksgiving has passed, our culture is full speed ahead toward Christmas. Black Friday has come and gone. As I write this there are no less than a dozen “Cyber Monday” deals in my inbox. Every store is glitzed out with decorations, and every radio is tuned to holiday music. Trees are up and gifts are being purchased. There is nothing inherently wrong with being in the “Christmas spirit,” but I would like to suggest we spend more time being in Advent contemplation. A few less lights and more Light of the World. A few less cookies and more Bread of Life. Less inflatable reindeer and more Shepherd of the sheep. Fewer gifts and more being in the presence of the Savior. Less Santa and more Jesus.
- Published: 08 December 2019 08 December 2019
- Last Updated: 08 December 2019 08 December 2019
The word “Advent” means “coming” or “arrival.” The entire season is one of heightened awareness and longing for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The advent wreath reminds us of God Himself, His eternity and endless mercy, who has no beginning or end. The green of the wreath speaks of the hope that we have in God, the hope of newness, of renewal, of eternal life. The candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His Son. Each week a different candle is lit. The four outer candles represent the advent themes of hope, peace, joy and love. The rose candle is unique among the outer candles in that it symbolizes the joy at the Advent of Christ. It is lit on the third week of Advent. The progression in the lighting of the candles symbolizes the various aspects of our waiting experience. Finally, the light that has come into the world is plainly visible as the Christ candle is lit at Christmas, and we rejoice over the fact that the promise of long ago has been realized.
- Published: 28 November 2019 28 November 2019
- Last Updated: 28 November 2019 28 November 2019
With this weekend’s Gospel reading focusing on Signs of the End of the Age, we are we reminded how quickly we are moving to the end of the church year. Next weekend we celebrate the Festival of Christ the King. With this festival we are plunged into the Passion. Jesus is alone; the crowds who sang ‘Hosanna!’ as he entered Jerusalem just five days previously are now shouting, ‘Crucify him!’ He now stands before the most powerful person in the land on a falsified charge.
- Published: 17 November 2019 17 November 2019
- Last Updated: 17 November 2019 17 November 2019
“Give thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks to the Holy One. Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son…”
At Lamb of God Preschool we spend the month of November talking about gratitude and what it means to be thankful. We have so many wonderful people in our lives and abundant
food and physical blessings. And, most especially, we have the gift of God’s Son, our Savior, Jesus.
- Published: 10 November 2019 10 November 2019
- Last Updated: 10 November 2019 10 November 2019
What a fantastic All Saints' Day Worship. It was a day filled with thanksgiving for "All the Saints'" and gratitude for Dr. Jeffrey Blersch and his service to Pacific Hills over the last year. He will be missed. We wish him all our best!!
- Published: 09 November 2019 09 November 2019
- Last Updated: 09 November 2019 09 November 2019
On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Cathedral. If that hammer could have announced the seismic changes to come in Europe and the Christian Church, its echoes would have shaken the world. Today, however, it is hardly more than a whisper.
For many Protestant churches, it has been like the “telephone” game, where a little was added here, a little changed there, a little taken away somewhere else. The general population has now moved into a post-Christian era, where differences in Christian theological tenets matter less than choices on the restaurant menu.
So is the Reformation still relevant today?
- Published: 25 October 2019 25 October 2019
- Last Updated: 26 October 2019 26 October 2019
The Dorcas Quilters of Pacific Hills hosted a sew-in event in Acker Hall on Saturday, November 19, 2019. The group's 4 members made up 24 kits with instructions to be pieced and quilted for Project Hope.
12 machines were loaned by Ellen Lessmann, all circa 1940's-1970's in perfect working order. Remember the machine your grandma sewed on? One just like it was probably being used on Saturday.
A delicious lunch was provided by Joann Stastny; she even fed the clean-up crew that was working outside.
Eight ladies joined in to finish 12 tops, 2 of which are completely finished and 4 more ready to be tied. One young lady pieced a top all by herself with very little supervision.
- Published: 22 October 2019 22 October 2019
- Last Updated: 24 October 2019 24 October 2019
The Gideons International visited Pacific Hills Lutheran Church recently and presented their mission of sharing God's Word. We thank the Gideons for their visit and sharing God's Word through distributing the Bible.
Millions of people are living their lives with no access to the Scriptures. The Gideons, with your help and prayers, can get God's Word into their hands.
Once such story is from prisoner-to-pastor John Krainer
I left home at 16, and by 21, I was out of control. I shot into a car and was arrested. I had no hope, no friends, and no family. However, there in my jail cell, I saw a Gideon-placed Bible. I had never read a Bible before. I learned about Jesus and His love. I prayed for the first time, and I was forever changed in one instant. I vowed to follow God and give my life to Him.
After my release, I became a pastor. My life has been transformed from pain and suffering to joy and service to the King. Daily, I thank God for his unrelenting love in that jail cell - as he spoke to we through His Word.
-Pastor John Krainer, Colorado, February 2015
- Published: 20 October 2019 20 October 2019
- Last Updated: 24 October 2019 24 October 2019