Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church - The Bronx, New York.  A Parish of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod where “God’s People Pray.”

The Rev. Dr. Dien Ashley Taylor, Pastor

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Moved from Fear to Joy: A Christmas Gift that Keeps GivingActive Advent Waiting


Sometimes, we think of “waiting” as a passive process.  It is as if we stand on line in the store and wait until we get to the register to make a purchase.  Our minds can wander and we may use our electronic devices to pass the time, but it is overall a passive time for many.


Waiting as Christians, however, is quite active.  “Wait for the Lord.  Let your heart take courage and wait for the Lord.”  The Psalmist calls us to wait actively and courageously.


One liturgical image for this waiting is the lighting of the Advent wreath.  It is not simply an exercise to count down the weeks until Christmas.  It is a chance to light a candle in a dark world.


That candle is lit when it seems that all hope is gone.  It is lit when, with repentant hearts, we seek to be changed into the likeness of Christ with our words and actions.  It is lit when we defy the depression and anxiety that would sweep us away into shopping frenzies and self-centeredness.  It is lit when we pause from our other activities and call on the saving Name of the Lord, knowing that all who call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.  It is lit progressively as we light an additional candle each week, building on the foundation of the patriarchs, prophets, apostles and martyrs as we give thanks that they inspire us in our confession of the faith and our service in the world.  It is lit when we bring the Advent light to darkened neighborhoods, homeless veterans, trafficked teenagers, domestic violence victims, troubled marriages, hungry youth, and lonely seniors.  It is lit when we advocate justice, do works of mercy, and exercise stewardship with our time that produces a harvest of righteousness for the sake of His Kingdom’s extension.  The Advent wreath, then, becomes a metaphor for the audacious and pervasive light that grows as we witness Christ’s death, resurrection and return.


Do not wait around lazily, then.  It is Advent.  Wake up.  Get up.  Stand up.  Show up.  Saddle up.  Work, watch, pray and actively engage in this season of anticipation knowing that we are not waiting in vain.  Use the time God has given you when standing on line to call upon the Name of the Lord and intercede for others.  Do not eat junk food while you wait during the literal and figurative commercials of our lives but fast and eat reverently the Bread of Life who has come down from heaven.  Do not get lost in the holiday elevator music but listen instead to our Lord’s Holy Word and meditate on it day and night.  Do not wait for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to come to church for worship; wait actively by coming now as you repent, for the Day of Christ’s return is near.  Do not wait passively for others to help those who are in need around you; you give them something to eat, you listen to their cries for mercy, and you spend your precious time in service to others as an offering to our Lord.


It is Advent.  It is a time of active waiting.  Light the wreath slowly and see the Light banish the darkness.  Let your heart take courage and wait actively for our ever-active Lord who is doing a great deal in this season of waiting before He returns to bring people to a knowledge of the truth.  Live your life in Christ and get to work this Advent as we respond to His extravagant grace and His ineffable light.


Peace, joy and love,


Worship Services

Saturday Liturgy: 7PM

Sunday Liturgies: 8AM & 11AM

Wednesday Liturgy: 7:30PM


Anointing with Oil for Healing: Once a month as indicated in the calendar.

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A Brief History

By the mercy of Almighty God, Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Bronx, New York, was founded in 1928.


Members of St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Yonkers who lived in the Wakefield section of the Bronx in...


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Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church

4360 Rev. Theodore Wittrock Crossing

(Boyd and Barnes Avenues)

The Bronx, NY 10466-1804

Phone: 718.324.1288  -  Fax: 718.324.2056



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