Salem Lutheran Church

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Heaven Torn Open

As I read our Gospel text today, you might have been thinking, haven’t we just read this story? Well, we did read the first five verses back on the second Sunday in Advent and today we hear it again as we add to it the story of Jesus’ baptism. So let’s take a look at what is happening.

Mark begins his Gospel with John in the wilderness and he says, “John the baptizer appeared…

Not Prepared

Dear Salem Family,

We’ve talked a lot the last few weeks about waiting. Advent is the season of waiting. And as I wrote before, I’m no good at that. And apparently, I’m finding out, I’m also not great at — BAM — it’s here! Now, what do I mean by that? I mean, we wait and wait and wait and then all of sudden, what we were waiting for is here. It’s days away. It’s happening…

​They Knew He Was Coming

I have to admit, I’m pretty familiar with this week’s scripture because I’ve read it to my kids out of the big Spark Bible they were given at age 3. Otherwise it’s not really one of the big stories — when Jesus is consecrated at the temple as a baby— but I assume it’s included in the children’s Bible since it’s one of the rare stories of Jesus as a child. And really, it’s the…

What a Beautiful Mess!

“In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem…” (Luke 2:1-3).

When we think of the Christmas story…

Faith, Obedience, and Generosity …

I honestly cannot believe it is only a couple of days before Christmas. Christmas always sneaks up on me, and I never seem to be quite ready for it. As we learned this Advent season, though, the promise God makes to us to come and be with us will happen whether we are ready, or not.

This Sunday, December 24, when we gather in the morning for our Advent 4 worship service, we will not…

Waiting and Seeking

Dear Salem Family,

The season of Advent is about waiting and seeking. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty horrible at waiting. I’d like to think I’m good about seeking, or at least observing. But, like a lot of people, sometimes I need to be knocked over the head with something before I realize what’s happening.

I read this today and it spoke to me, so I wanted to share…

Ready or Not: It's Time to Change Things Up

As I mentioned last week, we call this new church year, Year B, or the year of Mark, and today, on this second Sunday in the Season of Advent we start at the very first verse of Mark’s gospel. Upon reading it we learn exactly what we are about to read, "The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1). My guess is that Mark thought he was just writing a biography.…

Labeled

Have you ever been given a label or nickname that stuck with you even though you didn't really like it?

Throughout my life I have had various nicknames and labels thrust upon me by friends, teachers, coaches, and others along the way. Some of the labels were either fun or inside jokes among friends while others were affirmation for things I did or might be good at. But some of the labels were…

Ready or Not: It's Time to Keep Awake

Happy New Year! Oh, I know it's only December 3 and that there are 28 more days in 2017, but today we begin a new year in the church with the Season of Advent. To be technical we call it Year B, which means that the majority of our Gospel readings will be from the Gospel of Mark this year. But more importantly than focusing on the Gospel, it means that once again we go back to begin a new…

​Waiting with Anticipation!

I grew up with chocolate Advent calendars. My 2 brothers and I took turns every day in December opening paper windows to find and eat chocolate. Oh, the anticipation every 3 days! We also always had an Advent wreath with 4 red candles (a German tradition – like the Advent calendars) which we lit every evening at dinner in December, and took turns snuffing out the candles with Mom’s fancy…

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