Pastors' Blog

As we move farther into the Advent season, the readings for the Third Sunday in Advent tell us to rejoice because the Lord is near and comes with salvation.

Bible studies for 12/16

The Bible study options for this coming Sunday are:

  • “Ephesians” with Pastor Ekhoff

  • “Catechism: Baptism” with Pastor Ferkenstad

  • “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” with Pastor Mark Gungor via DVD

  • (Pastor Wiechmann is preparing the youth for the Christmas service)

I watched “Crazy Rich Asians” last week, a romantic comedy that was reviewed as one of the best films of 2018. One of the supporting characters gets to make her “hero’s speech” near the end of the movie as she walks out on her husband, who was having an affair. The trouble is, what she says is exactly backward.

The format of the Nine Lessons and Carols originated in England. It was first used on Christmas Eve in 1918 at King’s College. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books, and the Gospels, alternated with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns, and choir music.

The Advent Wreath is more than a pretty decoration. It is a trigger during the four weeks of the Advent season to turn our thoughts and heart toward Jesus.

Many different meanings have been given to the four candles and the other parts of the wreath. None are right or wrong. Here is one common interpretation of the meaning of the various parts of the Advent wreath.

Happy New Church Year!

We live in a time when we follow an annual calendar based on the orbit of the planet Earth around the sun. New Year’s day on that calendar is January 1st. The Christian church also follows a calendar, but based on the orbit of the Christian life around the Son of God.

The Book of Deuteronomy is a series of speeches from Moses, giving final words of wisdom and warning before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, challenging the next generation to be faithful to their God.

The Book of Numbers is about a road trip gone really bad. Israel perpetually complained, sinned, and rebelled against God at every step. But their repeated rebellion was met by God’s justice and mercy.

The Book of Leviticus is a solution. God took the initiative to provide a way to reconcile his relationship with rebellious Israel. He invited them to live in his holy presence despite their sin, through a series of rituals and sacred institutions. Leviticus is all about God’s grace!

Israel’s exodus from Egypt is the event that forms them into a nation and is the model for God’s plan of redemption throughout Scripture. God invited Israel to enter into a covenant relationship with him, but their own sin and idolatry became the greatest threat to God’s covenant promises.