St. Paul's Evangelical
Lutheran
 Church 

330 Highland Drive
Chicago Heights, Illinois 60411

Church Office: 708-754-4493

We go forward in Witness, Mercy, Life Together.


 
 
Sunday Worship Service
10:00 a.m.
 
 Sunday Adult Fellowship/Bible Study  
9:00 a.m.

Sunday Youth Bible Study
9:00 a.m.

Sunday School
 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday Advent
 Worship Services
2:00 & 7:00 p.m.
 
Come and Worship with Us!
 

 Christian Resources For You!

http://issuesetc.org/

www.worldvieweverlasting.com

http://higherthings.org/


 

DEACONESS DISCUSSION

We’ve just celebrated Thanksgiving, began the Advent season, and are preparing for Christmas. For many, these are joyous occasions. It is time spent with family, nostalgia, good food, and excitement. However, for some, these are not merry seasons at all. Holidays are hard for single people. Holidays are hard for parents. Holidays are hard for widow or widowers. Holidays are hard for people separated from their families. Holidays are hard for divorced families. Holidays are hard for those in mourning. Holidays are hard for a myriad of reasons because we live in a world of sin, hurt, and separation that seems to be heightened during these holiday seasons.

The days between Thanksgiving and the New Year seem to be the most important time of the year in our society. They are portrayed in movies, songs, foods, make-believe characters, and even cups. The whole country focuses on the ‘magic’ of the holidays where all seems right with the world as they are walking in a winter wonderland. But, is this really comforting to those in pain? Is this promise of Christmas merriment really matter to someone who has a hard time even getting out of bed, or leaving the house, or eating, or even smiling? There is no hope or promise in society’s version of Christmas. It teaches us to look inward, make family an idol, and think we can achieve perfection. At its best, it offers temporary happiness, that only lasts until the holiday season is over. More often, it simply offers disappointment, jealousy, and sorrow.

Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and I too get caught up in all the worldly holiday buzz. We rush to the stores, hit the parades, get pictures with Santa, make cookies, and increase our giving. We don’t only partake in the glamour but also in the holiday blues because we believe the lies that this is all Christmas has to offer. It simply isn’t true! Just as Christians do not mourn as unbelievers do, without hope, we do not celebrate Christmas without hope. In the Church, this time of year is nothing but hopeful. In the beginning of November, we prepare for the end of the Church year by looking forward to Christ’s second coming. During Advent, we prepare ourselves through fasting, additional church services, and spending more time in God’s Word to celebrate Christ’s first coming while focusing on the reason He had to come in the first place.  Jesus came as man because this world and the people in it are fallen, broken, and incapable of being perfect. He came to save. He came to redeem. He came to make you His. Truly, that is the greatest gift to focus on during this time. Yes, you may feel all the pains of the holiday season but know Christ suffered all the pains in this world as well. You are not suffering alone. Not only are your brothers and sisters in Christ struggling with you, Christ himself suffered with you and for you. He knows the pain. He knows it’s not easy. He knows it makes you want to give up. He knows there is nowhere else to turn except to the Father and His promises. His promise for you during Christmas and every day is Christ dying on the cross, defeating sin, death, and the power of the devil, rising again, and sitting at the right hand of God where He reigns over all the earth and comes to you through baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and absolution for your sins through the pastor. Cling to these promises; it’s what Christmas is all about.

Whatever your struggle or suffering is this holiday season, be where Christ has promised to be for you, the Church. Be in His Word, in your personal devotions and in Bible studies we offer at St. Paul’s, Sunday mornings at 9:00 am for all ages and Thursday mornings at 10:00 am for adults. Be at church services Sundays at 10:00 am, Wednesdays at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Share His love with one another at one of our various mercy opportunities; PADS, SPACE, visiting our shut-ins, or even praying with your brother or sister who is suffering. If the holidays are hard for you, or even if they’re not, rely on Christ’s promises for you and share this true meaning of Christmas with others.

Welcome Aboar Deaconess

In Christ,

Deaconess Katelyn Hansen