Salem Lutheran Church

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You make a difference

One of the things I love about our current times is that people feel empowered to make a real difference for others. Generations ago, we relied on large organizations to help those in need, but now the power of one person’s idea can create a tidal wave of kindness and giving. This time of year, with the cold of winter and holiday generosity, we really start to focus on being champions of peace…

Saviors

Last week we began the Season of Advent by reading from near the end of Luke’s Gospel, and today, on this second Sunday in Advent, we go back almost to the beginning of Luke’s Gospel, which reads almost like a history lesson. It starts with a listing of the “who’s who” of 1st century rulers. Make no mistake, Luke is making a political statement about the times. He begins his…

It’s Time to Repent!

This past Monday, the body of President George H. W. Bush was flown to Washington, D.C., to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol to allow a nation to bid him farewell. Regardless of one’s politics, this week was a time for all of us to remember a life that was dedicated to service and to the welfare of this country. It was an incredible sight to see so many of our government leaders come together…

What Do These Signs Mean?

Two weeks ago, we read from Chapter 13 of Mark’s Gospel where Jesus foretold the destruction of the Temple. In response to his teaching, the disciples had asked Jesus to tell them when this would happen and what signs they should watch for so that they would know when the end was coming. It was a great question and one they should have asked. They were hopping for some specifics so they would…

Signs

My family had such an incredible Thanksgiving break with LOTS of tree decorating, eating, playing games, snuggling, watching Christmas movies, snowball fighting, cooking, baking, eating more — It was awesome!

This week’s scripture is all about watching for signs — signs of Jesus on Earth. When I think of Jesus, I think of love. I saw so many examples of love on Earth this weekend.…

A Week of Giving

The dichotomy of Thanksgiving week makes me cringe, but also laugh with the irony: we are given the excuse to do nothing but cook, eat, and be with those we love as we give thanks Thursday, and then jump right into the Christmas shopping craze. I think it’s brilliant that Tuesday of next week is now called Giving Tuesday, to encourage us to give to those less fortunate before we spend all…

A Promised Future

When we ended our Gospel reading last week, Jesus and the disciples were sitting in the Temple watching people giving their money to the treasury in the Temple. There were people watching, and specifically, Jesus called out the generosity displayed by the poor widow who had given all she had, two copper coins. And as we begin our reading today, Jesus and the disciples are leaving the Temple and…

The Best is Yet to Come

It has been a busy couple of weeks around Salem. This past Sunday, we voted to sell our sanctuary and Luther Hall to Narthex and then lease it back. And then this coming Sunday is Commitment Sunday here at Salem. I know for some of you this is all very exciting; yet, for others, this is all very disturbing. So maybe we need to once again take a deep breath and try to listen to what God might…

Enough is Enough

“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces…” (Mark 12:8). It sounds to me like Jesus is condemning the Jewish system, doesn’t it? But, if we are going to really understand the profound analysis Jesus is offering here, we must move beyond some of our prejudices. As Christians, we must recognize the prejudices that many…

Social justice: spiritual practice

Mark 12:38-44 Common English Bible (CEB)

As he was teaching, he said, “Watch out for the legal experts. They like to walk around in long robes. They want to be greeted with honor in the markets. They long for places of honor in the synagogues and at banquets. They are the ones who cheat widows out of their homes, and to show off…

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