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Visit our Sunday worship services at 8 or 10:30 am. Sunday school and adult Bible class at 9:15. We are "Making Christ Known" by faith, worship and witness to get the message of Jesus Christ to all people.

January 2017

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.” Luke 2:14
Dear Redeemer Family:
We are in Christmas, or should be by the time that you read this. Christmas isn’t just a day. It is a season
also. The Season of Christmas lasts twelve days, hence the title of the song. Although Martin Luther maintained
that there were really only two Church seasons: Christmas to Easter, and then Easter to Christmas. In some ways,
that might be a better way to see the Church year.

 

During Christmas most people celebrate Jesus birth. But, it is much more than that. It is during Christmas that we celebrate and ponder the mystery of the Incarnation. God becomes a human being and lives among us. This is a great gift, and a great mystery. The Incarnation is literally the foundation of our faith. Indeed, our salvation rests on it. Our God deigns to become one of us. In Baptism, we are joined to him. In Holy Communion, we receive our Lord bodily into ourselves. As God Incarnate, He takes our sins upon Himself. As He dies on the cross, our sins are destroyed. In the Resurrection, Christ rises victorious over sin, death and the devil. And as He ascends to the Father, Jesus takes his human nature with him, and we are glorified. Think about that one for a minute. All rests on the Incarnation.

 

Being joined to Christ at our baptisms, we are now joined to him. In other words, we take Christ with us wherever we are and go. We represent Christ. That also is incarnational. We are made ambassadors of Christ. We are made co-heirs with Him to the Kingdom of God.
Christmas is much more than just a day to remember Christ’s birth as a human baby. No, all things are now changed because of it. Paul writes that, “Christ is a new creation.” And we are made new creations through him. All is now changed, and for the better. His birth signals our new birth. The old has passed away.

 

It is because of all of this that the angels sing out to the shepherd, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.” This is all done by and to the glory of God. And we are now granted the peace of God, the peace which goes beyond all understanding. That is the gift of Christmas, the true gift that keeps on giving. We have these things through Christ, not just of December 25th, but rather throughout the whole year, and always. And this is the real reason why we say “Merry Christmas,” not just on December 25th, but always, always. There is no greater greeting nor message.
In Christ,
Pastor Rose

December 2016

“You know what time it is.” Romans 13:11

 
Dear Redeemer Family:
We are entering again into the Season of Advent. It is the season of anticipation and expectation.
Not surprisingly, it is the first season of the Church calendar. Yes, we are already into a new year.
You don’t have to wait until January. And for us, this is also the beginning of a special year.

 

This year we celebrate the 500 anniversary of the Reformation. Worldwide Lutherans are gathering to celebrate this anniversary.
Just last Sunday, we celebrated Christ the King Sunday (the last day of the Church calendar), with the expectation of the culmination of the age. And now, we anticipate once again Christ’s coming. We do so in two forms. First, as everyone is already thinking, as He comes as the babe in the manger. I have noticed that certain stores already begin that preparation before even All Saints’ Day. “Christmas” is not just the celebration of Christ’s birth. The word means, “The celebration of Christ.” Although we tend to put our emphasis upon His birth, the day is really a total celebration of Christ’s coming. That includes His coming again, the Second Coming, and the culmination of the age as He does so.
In that sense, we anticipate and celebrate with all of Christ’s believers. We anticipate with the whole Church; past, present and future; and all denominations; throughout time and space. We believe that through Christ’s coming all things can happen. All things are possible. All things are hopeful.

 
As Lutherans and reformers this year, we celebrate the Lutheran theological heritage as an ongoing work of reformation of our own church, and steps toward reconciliation with other churches. The theme of the report prepared by the joint Lutheran-Catholic Commemoration of the Reformation is titled, “From Conflict to Communion.” Five hundred years ago, those words would have sounded as impossible to hold together as the wolves sleeping with lambs and streams flowing through deserts that Isaiah prophesied. It is precisely because of their seeming impossibility that Advent is a perfect time to life them up. Lutherans and Roman Catholics sharing the Eucharistic meal at the same altar? “When hell freezes over,” our grandparents might have said. And yet, in October of this year, leaders of the Lutheran World Federation (of which we are members) and Pope Francis signed a document to work towards that goal. Advent dares us to hope, to stay awake, and to bear fruit worthy of repentance – including for the unkind words and assumptions we have so often made about each other. The whole Church gathered.

 
If we can hold out hope that the new world God is bringing about in Jesus Christ is indeed coming,
and coming soon, and with it will come new highways opened, new protocols declared, then even to this prayer
of unity at the table we can add our own “Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus.”

 
In Christ, Pastor Rose