This article was posted December 25, 2015 by Rev. Travis Berg on the www.lutheranreformation.org website.
Christians in the Creche – Looking at Luther’s Christmas Sermon
Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to be in Bethlehem on that first Christmas? Who wouldn’t want to stand among the shepherds, as they hear the angels sing? We set up our crèches because we want to see the baby Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.
We feel this longing because we don’t realize that Christmas isn’t just ancient history. In his sermon on Christmas day, Martin Luther reminded his congregation and us how we should view Christmas: “Therefore see to it that you do not find pleasure in the Gospel only as a history, for that is only transient; neither regard it only as example, for it is of no value without faith.” Christmas isn’t just a historical trivia fact that comes in handy during Jeopardy or during a Quiz Bowl. Christmas isn’t just an example of righteous living, which is used to justify the acceptance of Syrian refugees.
- Published: 27 December 2018 27 December 2018
- Last Updated: 27 December 2018 27 December 2018
What a joy to know that the Church’s Christmas song continues after Christmas Day. Enjoy these twelve hymns as you rejoice in the Savior’s birth!
- Day 1: Joy to the World (LSB 387)
- Day 2: By All Your Saints in Warfare (LSB 517/518)
- Day 3: Go Tell It on the Mountain (LSB 388)
- Day 4: O Jesus Christ, Thy Manger Is (LSB 372)
- Day 5: From Heaven Above to Earth I Come (LSB 358)
- Day 6: All My Heart Again Rejoices (LSB 360)
- Day 7: What Child Is This (LSB 370)
- Day 8: Where Shepherds Lately Knelt (LSB 369)
- Day 9: Once in Royal David’s City (LSB 376)
- Day 10: O Sing of Christ (LSB 362)
- Day 11: Now Sing We, Now Rejoice (LSB 386)
- Day 12: Of the Father’s Love Begotten (LSB 384)
- Published: 25 December 2018 25 December 2018
- Last Updated: 24 January 2019 24 January 2019
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
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
The Lamb of God Preschool Christmas Service
The Lamb of God Preschool Christmas service will be this Sunday, December 9 at 3:00 pm in the sanctuary. After the service will be a birthday party for Jesus with cake and ice cream in Acker Hall. We would love to have you join us as the children share the message of Jesus’ birth!
As 2018 draws to a close, Lamb of God Preschool teachers, students, and families would like to say a big “THANK YOU!” to our whole congregation for your amazing support of our preschool this year. We are truly blessed to be a ministry of Pacific Hills. God’s richest blessings to all of you in this Advent
and Christmas season and in the new year.
Lamb of God Preschool Director/Teacher
- Published: 08 December 2018 08 December 2018
- Last Updated: 11 May 2019 11 May 2019
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
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
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
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
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