Now we have peace with God!

In Christ's body on the cross, God reconciled us to Himself,
not counting our sins against us.

All of us sin, and sin brings death. But by His sacrifice, the Son of God paid completely for all of our sins. Now we have peace with God! And because Christ rose from the dead, we have eternal life!

Be baptized, and wash away your sins. Receive Christ's Body and Blood, given and shed for you.

Who is Jesus?

Isaiah, a prophet of Israel, foretold, "the LORD Himself with give you this sign: A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and she will name Him Immanuel ['God with us']."

Seven centuries later, the Apostle John, an eyewitness to all that Jesus said and did, declared:
"In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God....The Word became Human and lived among us. We saw His glory. It was the glory that the Father shares with His only Son, a glory full of kindness and truth...."
Jesus is God in the flesh, God for us, God with us!

A Message from the Pastor

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeefff! Can you picture a little boy or girl singing that song? It reminds me of a simpler time, before Xboxes, iPads, or Christmas getaway cruises. Maybe I am only partially remembering the past, but it seemed much less was asked for and much less was given.

More important were the traditions and true meaning of Christmas. Going to church. Hearing the Nativity story of Luke, Chapter 2. Bringing the whole family together (even the relatives that didn't get along!). Singing Christmas carols. Watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas", "Rudolf, the Red-nosed Reindeer", and even having to watch "A Christmas with Perry Como!"

I am sure I had my selfish, greedy moments as a child. But one thing that was never forgotten was that it was all about Jesus -- the Son of God who came to this earth with the mission to save all of us.

I think we all recognize that life goes on. We can't relive the past, and things can never be the same. But lest we forget: Jesus will always be the Reason for this Season. Because nothing else in all the world will ever matter -- if there is no Jesus in our life.

So let us get prepared. Let us decorate the house and the tree. Let us prepare with presents and food. Let us prepare our hearts. Because Christ, our Lord comes!

Have a blessed Christmas season!

A Message from the Pastor

Near the end of last summer, Immanuel had a wonderful worship service and Bible class series on the ministry of St. Paul. It was very well received and very inspirational and instructive for all who followed along.

Beginning in August, we will begin a new worship series on "Journeys with Jesus." For three weeks we will pack an imaginary knapsack and follow along with Jesus during His years of ministry, before His Passion and death. We will witness His meager lifestyle. We will gain an understanding of the climate and geography of His world and how it affected His ministry and often became an opportunity for ministry. And we will examine (and identify with) those who had contact with our Savior as He 'journeyed on' to fulfill the goal of His ministry -- the redemption of all mankind.

God says in Scripture that just at the right time, Jesus came to this earth in human form. Over these three weeks in August, we will develop a better understanding and a greater appreciation of why God chose that specific environment to change the history of the world through His Son, our Redeemer.

Come and join in the "Journeys with Jesus!"

A Message from the Pastor

"Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobblestones, looking for fun and feeling---groovy!"

Remember that Simon and Garfunkel from the late sixties? It was a song that reminded us of slower, simpler, and maybe even happier times. With the hustle-and-bustle that characterizes most of our lives, the words of that song well express the longing we have for a less stressful life.

This summer, hopefully, we will have time to slow down a little and 'smell the flowers' of life. God has given us so much. He has given us salvation and eternal life. He has given us family, friends, and all sorts of loving relationships. He has made us who we are and given us everything we have. He has provided for our earthly needs and given us opportunities to grow closer to Him through His Bible and His Church.

I love the sound of the breeze rustling the leaves while the birds sing away. I love to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of His creation. I love the knowledge that all is right with my world because Jesus is my Savior.

And because we have a great and awesome God ... everything is groovy!

The Blessing of Confession and Absolution

It is our privilege every Sunday, as we begin our worship service in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, to be reminded that “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

And then the pastor speaks these words, “Let us then confess our sins to God our Father.” And we then speak these words, “Most merciful God, we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We justly deserve Your present and eternal punishment. For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.

It is then that the pastor, as the servant of God, speaks these consoling and comforting words to each one of us, “Almighty God in His mercy has given His Son to die for you and for His sake forgives you all your sins. As a called and ordained servant of Christ, and by His authority, I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

This blessing of Confession and Absolution we need to experience every Sunday. And it is a blessing that we want every sinner to experience with us. Let us invite them to join us.