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 2019

Theory and Practice (Nehemiah 8:1-3,5-6,8-10; 1 Corinthians 12:23-31a; Luke 4:14-21)

One of the pieces of curriculum that Maxine and I designed nearly a quarter century ago now for students studying to become ministers, involved putting the required courses that they were taking in a particular term and integrating them together into a context of ministry, including preaching, teaching, counseling, administration etc., that ministers do every week. We also kept track of problems they had in non-academic ways, which more frequently put ministries off track than do simple academic issues. We tried to help them with strategies to work on these matters while they were still with us, when we and… Continue reading

Abundance for the Fearful (Psalm 36; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; John 2:1-11)

This morning’s readings are very rich, and so I cannot begin to talk about all that’s in them, or even a few things.  I will stick to one or two.  I will start with our Old Testament Lesson from Psalm 36.  First, a word on how the Psalms are best read and appreciated. Sometimes I’d begin a course of lectures on the Psalms by saying that the Psalms are “the Hebrew Hymn Book,” and generally, that’s right, but there are other worship materials also in the Psalms. What’s crucial to grasp here is that the Psalms are, like our hymn… Continue reading

Getting it Wrong About Baptism (Isaiah 43:1-7; Acts 8:14-17; Luke 3:21-22)

Luke’s story of Jesus’ baptism is one of four, one in each of the Gospels. Mark’s is the oldest and is the basic source of Matthew and Luke.  John is on his own.  Each story makes its own points, and eliminates some points of the othersEach was written to a community and a context that needed to grasp the centralities of Jesus’ baptism in ways relevant to them. So it is for us.

Now Christian Baptism, and the baptism of Jesus by John, had their differences As far as we can discern from archaeology and… Continue reading

Herod or the Child (Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12)

January 6th is Epiphany day. In our day an “epiphany” is any normal happening in the world that somehow clarifies or reveals something previously hidden from us or unclear to us. The word Epiphany is a barely-disguised Greek word that means, “appearance” or “demonstration,” and is related to a verb that means “to display,”  “reveal” or “demonstrate.”   

Epiphany is the Season of the Church Year when we shift our attention from “Jesus in a manger” with, more or less local importance, to Jesus as an adult whose life, ministry, and teachings displayed or demonstrated the character and values of… Continue reading