Salem Lutheran Church


Staff Trax

We're Not Alone

Fifty days ago today we celebrated Easter Sunday, which means that today is Pentecost Sunday. This is the day we celebrate the birth of the church, or we can also think of it as the day the church was first baptized with the Holy Spirit. Now, we know this day as a Christian celebration but actually Pentecost was, and is, first a Jewish festival day. No, the Jews did not celebrate the birth of the…

"It's a Hard Knock Life"

Our Gospel story today comes at the end of Jesus’ lengthy address to the disciples that we have been reading through the past few weeks, which actually began all the way back in Chapter 14. Jesus had spent a considerable amount of time preparing his disciples for life and ministry on their own without him physically present with them, and at the end of this prayer we hear today, John immediately…

Connected for Life

I find it very interesting that on the same weekend we have our annual spring outdoor cleanup day that we also read this text about pruning. If you look around outside there was a lot of pruning that went on here yesterday.

As I read our text for today I decided to look up the definition of the word “prune” in the dictionary and literally it means:

“to trim (a tree, shrub, or bush)…

We Are Known and Empowered

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me…” (John 10:14). This is a beautiful verse of scripture and one that I hope we all find comforting and empowering. But, before we can get to its meaning for us today, we ought to take a look at the context in which it was said and to whom Jesus was speaking when he said this.

Shortly before Jesus began this teaching…

Be A Witness

For the third week in a row, we have read a portion of the Resurrection story. On Easter we heard Mark’s version, last week we heard part of John’s version, and now today we are reading part of Luke’s version of the Resurrection. In Mark’s story, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went to the tomb. In John’s version, the writer only mentions Mary Magdalene going to the…

The Peace of Christ

“When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you' ” (John 20:19). This verse always brings me comfort because in the midst of real fear, according to the writer of John’s Gospel, the first thing our Lord did for his disciples after…

It's No Joke!

Happy Easter! You know, Easter is probably my favorite holiday. For me I can’t even say the word Easter without smiling. It is a happy day because for so long now, 40 days, we have been focusing on what needs to change in our lives and how we are to do that, and now, today, we get to focus on he joy that will make that change possible. We get to hear how Jesus overcame death and that…

Give Yourself Away

As we gather this evening, we begin to bring our Lenten observance to an end, and we gather with Christians around the world to celebrate the Three Days of Jesus’ death and resurrection. At the core of this gathering is Jesus’ commandment to love one another and as we heard Jesus command, we aren’t to love like the world loves, but like Jesus loved. “Just as I have loved you, you…

It's Time

Today we begin our final week of our Lenten journey. In the church we call this Holy Week and it begins today with Palm/Passion Sunday, which I always find to be a very odd day. Today we began our time of worship with a celebration. Like those faithful followers back in the first century, we shouted Hosanna and we celebrated Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Our Messiah arrived…

Time to Die

So did the “Greeks” that wanted to see Jesus get to see him or not? That is a question I ask every time I read this story. All we know is that when Andrew and Philip told Jesus that these folks wanted to see him, Jesus gave a cryptic reply and then began speaking to the crowd, then he offered a prayer for others to hear and then God spoke and then Jesus spoke to the crowd again. We…

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