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 2017

Be Born in Us Today (Jeremiah 31:1-6; Luke 1:26-38)

Our Advent candle-lighting is almost complete. We have now lit the four candles in the ring of the Advent wreath; three purple, one pink. As we lit the first candle, we thought about how badly God’s people have always needed to have the assurance of hope in a world that denied justice and goodness – and how we still need hope in our sad and misshapen world. We need to live in hope in the direction of peace, to loosen the tight grip of the knots in which we’re tied – that was actually the second purple candle. Last week,… Continue reading

Living Forwards Understanding Backwards (Isaiah 61:1-4,10-11; John 1:6-8,19-28)

In 1843 the Danish philosopher/theologian Soren Kirkegaard, wrote in his journal in 1843 that “…Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” There is no question that we start at the beginning of life and go to the end through it (we live forwards), but that we, often, do not understand or appreciate the meaning of things as they first happen to us, but only in later reflection. I take this to be true.

Advent is the time of waiting for God to fulfill our hope, bring us peace, lead us to joy, and infuse us… Continue reading

Loosening Knots (Isaiah 40:1-11; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8)

Last week, on the First Sunday of Advent, when we lit the candle of hope I suggested to you that the hope of which the Gospel of Jesus speaks is not wishfulness, but is a strong trust, that God would both send Jesus the Messiah to our hearts and minds in a new way, and that God would, ultimately, come to dwell with us to bring justice, fairness, peace, joy, and love, not just as fluffy, “spiritual things,” but things involving right actions of neighbourly concern for the least, the last, and the left behind.

Our task this morning is… Continue reading

We Need a Little Hope Right Now (Isaiah 64:1-9; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37)

Today we start a year full of readings that are centred on the oldest of the Gospels, the Gospel of Mark. On the first Sunday of that cycle of readings — the First Sunday of Advent — our theme, year by year, is hope. It is easy enough to use the word “hope” in the midst of our happiness of the Thanksgiving season, and our general affluence, and say things like: “I hope that we get a white Christmas,” or “I hope that this sermon isn’t too long,” so I get to the restaurant before the Catholics, Episcopalians and Lutherans… Continue reading