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: December 2016

The Christmas Miracle (Isaiah 9:2-7; Luke 2:1-20)

It’s Christmas Day, the culmination of all the hope, all the peace, all the joy, and all the love of Advent. Of course, we don’t actually know when Jesus was born, but Christians have been celebrating it about now for many centuries. It really doesn’t matter much at what time of year it was. What is important is that, in this event, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” One of my friends often says that at Christmas God stepped onto our planet with eternal consequence. As a convinced Christian, I, of course, think… Continue reading

The Candle of Joy (Isaiah 35:1-10; Matthew 11:2-11)

On the Third Sunday of Advent, we light the only candle on the circumference of the wreath that isn’t purple–it’s pink–and it represents that which stands out on the wreath and in life. It’s for joy. That’s because joy, though not the same as silliness and giggles, often shows up “on our outsides.” That’s also one reason we celebrate Gaudy Sunday by wearing bright clothes; to emphasize that we do intend our inner joy to be outwardly obvious. That joy and joyful energy are important is shown by the fact that, in the Old Testament alone, there are more than… Continue reading

The Candle of Peace (Isaiah 11:1-10; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to… Continue reading

The Candle of Hope (Isaiah 2-1-5; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44)

Another season of Advent has begun, and so, we lit the first purple candle on our Advent Wreath today. We do it every year. And when we light this first one, we remind ourselves that this new season – this new church year – begins in and with this thing called hope. The last time I addressed you, I talked about the fact that there is no question that God is creating a new everything, but that the path to appreciating and appropriating that wonderful new everything is often an upward one, progress along which is only made, in the… Continue reading