First Baptist Church of La Crosse, Wisconsin
First Baptist Church of
La Crosse, Wisconsin
1209 Main Street
La Crosse, WI
(608) 782-6553

Monthly Archives: January 2016

Like the Wideness of the Sea (Jer. 1:4-10; 1 Cor. 13; Lk. 4:21-30)

Our readings for the morning are diverse. We have the story of the “call” of the prophet Jeremiah. We have what many consider to be the high point of Paul’s writing, a hymn, or a poem on the topic of Christian love. And we have (the other half of) Jesus’ sermon in his own hometown synagogue.

As different as these readings are, they are tied together by the fact that they all arise within conflict. Jeremiah was called into the political and social chaos that whirled about the end of the Kingdom of Judah. Jesus conflicted his listeners to the… Continue reading

With Interpretation for Today (Neh. 8:1-3,5-6,8-10; 1 Cor. 12:23-31a; Lk. 4:14-21)

This is the date on which we think about and celebrate our congregation’s birthday, and the day we have our Annual Meeting. Each year on this Sunday I try to have some word that might help us to think about a course through the year ahead. This is the 164th year of our existence as the first organized congregation in the city – actually begun in 1852, before La Crosse was incorporated in 1856. Today we look back with pride and some amazement.

This is also the third Sunday in the Epiphany Season, and an apt time to think about… Continue reading

The Abundant Community (Isa. 62:1-5; 1 Cor. 12:1-11; Jn. 2:1-11)

On the Sunday after Christmas I took some time to unpack that wonderful passage in John 1 about the Word becoming flesh, and suggested to you that, in this act, God decided to be enfleshed, and embedded in the world, joined to it, if you will, in a deep, self-conscious, and spiritual way. On the next Sunday, Mark Stahlhut preached on the same John 1 text and talked about God’s fullness that dwelled in Jesus, from which we have all received. Between that prologue and our Gospel Lesson today, there is material that transitions the focus from God’s work in… Continue reading

Moments of Clarity (Isa. 43:1-7; Acts 8:14-17; Lk. 3:15-17, 21-22)

We live in a confusing world, and many times we are forced to decide what to do with less than a satisfying amount of information or a sense of the implications of our choices. It’s just part of life that, every day, we have to choose one thing or another, one way or another, one action or another. It’s only occasionally that we get clarity about the decisions we make. Life is ambiguous and can come out many different ways. Even our choices seem limited much of the time, but we have to live with those choices nonetheless. As we… Continue reading