Service Times
Service Times & Directions

 

There are two regular weekly services:

Early Sunday Morning: 9:00 am. This service is very personal, contemplative and devotional. Sunday School begins upstairs in the 9am service with a message for the Children and then continues downstairs during the rest of the service. 

Sunday Morning: 11:00 am. 9 and 11am services follow the same format. 


For all services there is a fully functional nursery for young children,


All worship services are held in the sanctuary. Holy Communion is celebrated on the second, fourth and fifth Sundays of the month at both services on those days.

 

 

There are two additional monthly services:

 

Evening Prayer Services: 7:30 pm, with Holy Communion offered each month on the first Wednesday.

 

Morning Prayer Services: 8:00 am, with Holy Communion offered each month on the third Wednesday.

 

Mount Olive Lutheran Church
2015 4th Avenue North
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
S4R 0T5

Office Hours 9am-12pm, 1-4pm

Mon to Fri - Except Holidays


 


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Christmas Services:

Dec 24th Christmas Eve 5pm & 7 pm 

Dec 25th Christmas Day 10am, (Communion) 

 

Holy Week & Easter Sunday:

Maunday Thursday 7:30pm, (Communion)  

Good Friday 10am

Easter Sunday 7:30am & 10am, (Communion) 

 

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Sermon December 8, 2013 Endurance & Encouragement Romans 15:4


 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

(New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011)

 

We have come to the second Sunday in Advent. Two candles on our Advent wreath are lit. Advent is the four-week period leading up to Christmas. “Advent” means “arrival,” and refers to the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. During this season, we prepare ourselves for our Lord’s coming. During this season of preparation, we confess the sins stand between us and the Lord. During this season of preparation, we turn to God’s word for encouragement and hope. In the midst of the “busy-ness” of this pre-Christmas season, we have come here, to this place receive God’s blessing.

 

During Advent, we prepare ourselves to meet the Lord. We let God straighten the path and prepare the road for Jesus’ arrival. When you think about it, our Lord’s advent is the reason why we have hope at Christmastime. When we sing Advent hymns and Christmas carols, we are reminded of Christ’s first coming – as the babe of Bethlehem, the newborn King, the long-promised Messiah of the Jews. But, at Advent, we are also reminded that the Christ who has come is the Christ who will come again – at the end of the age.

 

In Advent, we prepare ourselves, and our hearts, for a very special guest. I’ve got a question for you, as I often do in my sermons. What do you do at your house when you know that special guests are coming? Do you clean house, and tidy up? Do you do a little extra grocery shopping? Do you bring out your special china and linen? If we do this for our special guests and visitors, what should we do as we prepare ourselves for the coming of our Lord? External preparations – like the ones we do at home – are fine and good. But spiritual preparations – the ones that God wants to accomplish for us – are most important. May God bless our consideration of his Holy Word this day!

 

Romans chapter 15 begins with these words. The Apostle Paul says:

 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (N.I.V.)

 

In our text this morning, the Apostle Paul begins by talking about the Scriptures – God’s word for us. He tells us why God gave us these special writings. It’s important to remember that – at this time – the New Testament scriptures as we know them were not yet completed. When Paul talks about the scriptures here, he’s talking about the Old Testament. He tells us that the Holy Scriptures have been given to us – by God – for several reasons. They have been given, first of all, to teach us. In the Scriptures, information God wants us to know is personally delivered to us. The Holy Scriptures contain “doctrine” – and doctrine simply means teaching. Some Christians don’t seem to understand this term – “doctrine.” Some Christians proudly declare –

 

“We don’t teach doctrine in our church – we just talk about Jesus.”

 

Whatever Christians teach, however, is their “doctrine” – even if they don’t call it that. Our doctrine here at Mount Olive Lutheran Church is what we believe, and teach, and confess to the world. When you think about it, a church without doctrine is a church without a soul. A church without doctrine is a church without a solid foundation. A church without doctrine, if there should be such a thing, isn’t a church at all.

 

In the Holy Scriptures, God communicates what he wants us to know. He tells us what he wants us to know about Himself. He tells us what he wants us to know about ourselves. In the Holy Scriptures, God tells us about beginnings and he also tells us how things will come to an end. In the Scriptures, God reveals mysteries to us. Jesus of Nazareth was a master teacher. He taught God’s Word – in all of its purity and power. He taught God’s Word in such a way as to engage the interest of his hearers. He taught with the goal of changing his hearers – changing their hearts, and their attitudes, and their behaviors. Jesus’ goal, as he taught, was to transform the way people see God, and themselves, and others. His goal was to foster hope. When you think about it, one of the things that makes us Christians unique is the hope we have. Despite the evils and injustice so prevalent in this world, we have hope. Despite earthquakes and hurricanes and disease, we have hope. Despite sin, and Satan, and a world turned away from God, our hope remains.

 

Human beings don’t do well without hope. Hopelessness can lead to despair – and despair can lead to destruction. That’s why human beings seek to avoid hopelessness at any cost. The Scriptures tell us that Christ’s people – those who are prepared to meet him – are not like those who have no hope. Our hope is based on Christ and what he has accomplished for us. Our hope is based on the cross and the empty tomb. It’s built upon the forgiveness of our sins and the promise of eternal life. Our hope enriches each day, and carries us into the next life. In our text this morning, the Apostle Paul says:

 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (N.I.V.)

 

So God’s word is the source of our hope. Preaching God’s Word strengthens hope. We trust that what God says is true. We trust that what God says will happen, just as he said. Pastor Stephen Gaulke, of St. John’s Lutheran Church, in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, talks about the hope God fosters in us. He says:

 

“Picture the rain, showering down from the heavens, drenching the field, then filling the pond, then overflowing into the stream. In the same way, picture Christian hope – fostered by the Word of God – showering down from God, drenching our hearts, filling us with unquenchable joy, and then overflowing – from us to those around us.”

 

In Advent, we prepare ourselves for our Lord’s coming. We remember that he came, first of all, to Bethlehem, as the Christ-child, and, secondly, we remember that he is coming again as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The first coming of Christ – spoken of in the Holy Scriptures – is the basis of our Christmas hope. He return– again promised in the Holy Scriptures – is the basis of our daily hope. God has given us his word to teach us. And we thank him for that. We pray that he would place a deep and abiding desire within us to study his word with fellow believers. We pray that he would enable us to hear his Word in worship, to confess his Word in our creeds, and to live out his Word in our day-to-day lives. We pray that God would continue to prepare us by means of His Word and the sacraments.

 

According to our text this morning, God gives His people endurance. He gives them the strength they need to carry on. He does that through his Word. He does that through the waters of Baptism. He does it through the bread and wine of Holy Communion. And he encourages his people through fellow believers who travel the journey of faith together. Our God is not distant and uncaring. He didn’t create this world and then leave it to its own devices. He left us His “Manufacturer’s Handbook” – we call it the Bible.

 

In Romans, chapter 15, verse 8, the Apostle Paul describes Jesus – the one we are preparing to meet at this time of the year. He says:

 

For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. (N.I.V.)

 

So God sent his Son to be a servant. First, a servant for the Jews. And then a servant for the rest of the world – the Gentiles. God’s Son entered world history when he was born in Bethlehem. He lived among us. He taught us God’s “doctrine” – his truth – through his words and his deeds. He antagonized the false religious leaders of that day, and they put him to death on a cross. But God raised him from the dead and Jesus now lives at God’s right hand. And he will someday return to this earth – at the end of the age, and this world as we know it will be no more.

 

Romans chapter 15, verse 5 says:

 

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (N.I.V.)

 

It’s important to remember that all of us are at a different stage on our faith journey. Some are new Christians, just starting out. Others are veterans, those who have traveled God’s road of faith for many years. Paul says that those who are mature in the faith are not to despise the newcomers. He says that God’s people are to work together, to strive to understand each other. Christians are to work with each other. They are to speak the truth. But they are to speak it in love. Romans chapter 15, verse 7 says this:

 

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jewson behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. (N.I.V.)

 

We are fellow-servants – with Jesus – fellow servants of our neighbor. All of us – pastors and laypeople together – are God’s servants. God’s Holy Spirit is working to unite us as we reach out to serve others, in Jesus’ name. We have a common faith – a common doctrine. We have a God-given message to share with all who have ears to hear it. We tell people – first of all – what God wants of them – we call this the Law. And then we tell people what God has done for them – we call this the Good News – the Gospel. We love the Lord. And we love his people – all of his people – without strings attached.

 

According to the Apostle Paul, God wants his people to be strong and united. He wants his people to be focused on a single goal. He wants them to be prepared – prepared for His Son’s second coming – and prepared to serve one another in the meantime. According to the Apostle Paul, Jesus confirmed the promises made to the patriarchs.” In other words, Jesus fulfilled all the Scriptural promises of what the Messiah would be like. In Him, all of God’s promises regarding the Messiah were fulfilled. Jesus of Nazareth was the great prophet predicted by Moses. He was the suffering servant, predicted by Isaiah. He is the Mighty God, born of a virgin mother. He carried the sins of his people. He crushed Satan and defeat him. He was the promised Savior and King. He confirmed the promises made in the Scriptures. He came once. And He will come again. Christ has accepted us. He has been gracious to us. He has forgiven us. And now, we live out our faith.

 

Scholars tell us that the believers at Rome – the original recipients of our text for today – lacked love. The congregation at Rome was beset by conflict. And so, to these troubled people, and to us, today, the Apostle Paul says, “Accept one another….” The congregation at Rome was divided. They no longer spoke the truth in love. They were judgmental. They were self-righteous.

 

In this season of Advent, God is preparing us for our coming King. When we are prepared for our Lord’s coming, we are prepared for daily life as well. While we wait for our Lord’s return, we put our faith into practice. We share the hope we have. While you and I wait for the Lord’s coming, we don’t despise or look down on those who are different from us. We don’t act in a self-righteous way. We don’t put others down to make ourselves look good. We practice forgiveness – difficult as that can sometimes be. With God’s help, we bring peace where there once was conflict – reconciliation where there once was alienation. How do we do all this? We do it with the help of God. After all, He accepted us at the cross. Now, we accept others. He has been gracious with us. We are gracious with others. In a world where conflict and sin predominate, people thirst for love and acceptance. God’s people provide it.

 

I conclude my message this morning with these words from Romans, chapter 15, verse 13. May they help prepare us to meet our King – at the manger in Bethlehem – and at the last day:

 

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (N.I.V.)

 

Amen.

 

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father – May the promise of Christ’s coming fill us with encouragement and hope. Prepare for this most important Guest. Fill us with Advent joy and peace. In Jesus our Savior’s name. Amen.

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