There are so many great Advent hymns. Each year I find myself wishing Advent was a little longer so that we would have more opportunity to sing them. One of the best known of these great hymns is generally sung on the fourth Sunday in Advent – O Come, O Come Emmanuel.
The text of this hymn has an interesting history. Sometime prior to the ninth century, a custom arose of chanting a short antiphon before and after the Magnificat at daily Vespers from December 17 through 23. There were seven of these antiphons, one for each of the days leading up to Christmas Eve. Each of these seven antiphons began with the word “O” followed by one of seven titles used to describe God in Scripture: Wisdom, Adonai, Root of Jesse, Key of David, Dayspring, King of Nations, and Emmanuel. These antiphons have became known as the Great “O” Antiphons of Advent.
Sometime in the 12th century, an unknown author put each of the Antiphons into poetic verse, added a refrain (“Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel”), and the hymn that we know as “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” was born.
- Published: 23 December 2018 23 December 2018
- Last Updated: 23 December 2018 23 December 2018
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by Rev. Brent Kuhlman (Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Murdock, NE)
“Stir up your power, O Lord, and come.” Who prays like that? The church! She dares to pray that way. Especially during this blessed season of Advent. “Stir up your power, O Lord, and come.” And lo and behold He does! He comes to His lost and condemned creatures. In a way that blows you away! Check it out.
Go ahead. Try to bore a way up to heaven. Peek your head through the clouds. See if you can find the Lord seated on a red-velvety cushioned throne. I’ve got news for you. You won’t find Him way up there! Why? Because the Lord has come way down here!
The Lord Jesus stirs up His power and comes among us with great might. But see how it happens. Scandalous! Outrageous! Illegitimate circumstances! He stirs up His power and comes among us with great might as He is conceived by the Holy Spirit-filled sermon preached by the angel Gabriel in the Virgin Mary’s-engaged-to-be-married-to Joseph-ears. He gestates for nine months in her womb. Born in backwoods Bethlehem. He nurses from the virgin’s breast. He cuddles in her lap. A cattle trough is His bed. Infant holy. Infant lowly. Yes, indeed, this child – the Baby Jesus -- is Lord of all in weakness, a scandalous state of affairs, and great humility.
- Published: 19 December 2018 19 December 2018
- Last Updated: 19 December 2018 19 December 2018
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The church uses various colors to mark the different seasons of the church year. Advent is no different. The color for the season is blue and during this season we give voice to the longing of our hearts for Jesus to come. The cry of God’s people throughout the ages has been, “Come, Lord Jesus, Come!” During the Advent Season we celebrate Jesus who was promised to come, who did come, and who will come again as our Prophet, Priest and King. The pageantry of our “Advent Blues” visually points us to the one who is pure and royal.
Our Advent Schedule for 2018
- Published: 01 December 2018 01 December 2018
- Last Updated: 01 December 2018 01 December 2018
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Saturday, November 24 was Pacific Hill Lutheran Church's 2nd Annual Rake and Run. We had a good turnout of volunteers from the congregation to help rake leaves from the yards in the neighborhood surrounding the church. We were blessed with sunshine, pleasant temperatures, and smiles while we labored in our task.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few."
- Published: 24 November 2018 24 November 2018
- Last Updated: 29 November 2018 29 November 2018
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This article by Marie Landskroener originally appeared on the Concordia Publishing House Music website on November 20, 2018.
Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
(“Abide with Me,” LSB 878, Stanza 1)
So was my family’s anthem nearly every evening when I was little. We made it our own with little added embellishments, as kids (and sometimes dads) are wont to do, and then scurried off to bed (always obediently and willingly, I might add—just don’t tell my mom I said that). Little did we know the preparation that was taking place, the ultimate preparation in life: we were preparing to die.
“Change and decay in all around I see”
That, you might be thinking, is morbid! Innocent children heading off to bed preparing for their deaths? Well, as I learned in American history, only two things in this life are certain: death and taxes. In all seriousness, though, if death is certain (unless, of course, Christ comes in our lifetime), then why should we not spend every moment preparing to die a good death? Why should we not be ready for it when it comes?
- Published: 24 November 2018 24 November 2018
- Last Updated: 24 November 2018 24 November 2018
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Possibly the best-known Christmas service in the Western world is the festival of Nine Lessons and Carols held each year since 1918 at King’s College, Cambridge, England. Adapted by churches all over the world as part of their Advent and Christmas worship, Lessons and Carols is a service which celebrates the birth of Jesus through selected passages of Scripture interspersed with choral music and congregational singing which reflect on those Scriptural passages.
Pacific Hills' Advent Lessons and Carols Service
Pacific Hills’ annual service of Advent Lessons and Carols will take place on Sunday, December 9, during the 8:00 am and 10:30 am services. Our service begins the same way in which the King’s College Christmas celebration begins – by recalling the rebellion and fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the need for a Savior. We then hear prophecies from Isaiah, Jeremiah and Micah which unfold God’s message of love and redemption; God comforts His people, calls on them to prepare for their Savior to come, and promises a new covenant – a righteous branch to be born in Bethlehem to save us all.
The festival culminates with a reading from the Gospel of St. Luke in which John the Baptist proclaims the Advent of the Messiah and calls us all to repentance as we prepare to meet him.
- Published: 22 November 2018 22 November 2018
- Last Updated: 22 November 2018 22 November 2018
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Rev. Matthew Wood visited Pacific Hills Lutheran Church on Sunday, November 18, 2018. Rev. Wood lead a presentation on his work in Indonesia that is planned for February 2019, and preached during the 10:30 am service. Rev. Wood and his family has traveled over 9,000 miles over the past 15 weeks to raise support for his work in Indonesia. He will work closely with the Indonesian Christian Lutheran Church (GKLI) and help train pastors and lay leaders by providing resources through educational workshops, translation projects and other efforts.
Matthew is originally from Minnesota. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in theology from Concordia University, St. Paul, in 2006. He received his Master of Divinity in 2011 and a Master’s in Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) in 2015 from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Following seminary, he served as pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Maplewood, Missouri.
- Published: 19 November 2018 19 November 2018
- Last Updated: 02 February 2019 02 February 2019
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On Veterans Day, November 11, Quilts of Valor presented five quilts to PHLC members and veterans. Each quilt was crafted by loving hands of Quilts of Valor, Omaha Chapter #577, most by members of our congregation, to recognize those who served during World War II. One intended for a now-deceased member, was presented to a Marine currently serving overseas.
Frank Bladt - U.S. Navy (1943-1946). Quilt pieced & quilted by Elain Whiteing
Paul Gladman - U.S. Army (1944-1945). Quilt pieced by Melissa Peters, quilted by Joan Workman
Robert Loeck - U.S. Army (1945-1946). Quilt pieced & quilted by Joan Workman
Duane Fieck - U.S. Navy (1943-1946). Quilt pieced & quilted by Ellen Lessmann
Timothy Mechaley - U.S. Marines (Post-911). Quilted for Al Simonson, presented to Timothy.
- Published: 12 November 2018 12 November 2018
- Last Updated: 13 November 2018 13 November 2018
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- Published: 10 November 2018 10 November 2018
- Last Updated: 10 November 2018 10 November 2018
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This article by Erica Tape originally appeared on the Concordia Publishing House Music website on October 30, 2018.
Sola Scriptura, sola gratia, sola fide, solus Christus. Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone.
This Reformation teaching is especially poignant on All Saints’ Day, a day when many of us remember those who have gone before us in the faith. The solas teach us about the pure Gospel, and the Gospel gives us hope in the resurrection. As you rejoice in the Reformation, may you find comfort in the Gospel and share that comfort with others who may be mourning on All Saints’ Day.
“Our Vict’ry Has Been Won”
In the end of the fourth stanza of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (LSB 656/657), we sing about everlasting life:
And take they our life,
Goods, fame, child, and wife,
Though these all be gone,
Our vict’ry has been won;
The Kingdom ours remaineth.
- Published: 31 October 2018 31 October 2018
- Last Updated: 31 October 2018 31 October 2018
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