Salem Lutheran Church

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Perfect Love Freely Given

“Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to [Jesus.] And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them” (Luke 15:1-2)

Reading these two verses reminds me of me. I have to confess, I am guilty of often looking around and comparing myself to others. I often try to justify my actions based on the bad actions…

The Forgiving Father

I was recently surprised to hear our scripture for this week, the beloved story of the prodigal son, described instead as the story of the forgiving father. How would you describe it? The story of the spoiled kid who wasted his inheritance? His father who continued to spoil him when he returned? His loyal brother who was taken for granted? We tend to err on the side of judgment: how we feel…

The Love of Grace

Today, we begin with the age-old question of why do bad things happen, or more precisely, why do bad things happen to good people? Why? We always want to know the why, and, of course, in Jesus’ day, the assumption was if something bad happened to you then you weren’t living right. You had done something wrong, or maybe your parents had done something wrong, that caused God to be angry with you,…

Baby Love

The Nelson Dixons are excited to introduce you to Gilbert Dixon! He was born on March 8, 2019. He weighed 8 lb. 6 oz. and was 21 inches long.

The Nelson Dixon fam is doing well and settling into the new normal. Gilbert’s older sisters…

Love What You Do

Last week I spoke about how we ought to love who we are. After all, we are children of God. We are created in God’s image and we are those God has commanded to care for and nurture all of God’s creation. So if we are to love who we are, it only makes sense to me that we ought to also love what we do. That is, if we love who we are and the gifts God has given each of us individually, and communally,…

Stay Focused

Well, we began the season of Lent last week with the celebration of Ash Wednesday, and now we are on our 40-day journey to the cross. Lent is that season in the church year when we talk about repentance a lot. For many of us, when we hear this word, we think of confessing our sins, those things we have done that are against the ways of God. Lent is not only remembering our sins; it is, perhaps,…

Love Who You Are

Now, just before the start of our story today, Luke had told of Jesus’ baptism. Luke said that while Jesus was praying right after his baptism, “the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove” (Luke 3:21-22) and then, much like we heard in the Transfiguration story from last week, God spoke, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."…

Snow Days and Community

Snow days used to be something my little family loved: kids put their pjs on backwards with a spoon under their pillow, did a snow dance, and said, “I hope you don’t wake me in the morning, giggle!!”. In the morning they woke up at the same time, of course, and were thrilled to go sledding and drink hot chocolate all day. We have lost count of how many snow days off of school we’ve…

The Practice of Love

Today, begins our 40-day journey of Lent. That time between Ash Wednesday and Easter when we are invited to examine our own lives so that we might identify those things that keep us from fully loving God and from living the lives we have been created to live. It is a time in which we are challenged to give up, or fast from, those things that prevent us from living lives that that glorify God.

Now,…

The Bright Love of God

As we begin our story today, Luke says, “Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up the mountain to pray” (Luke 9:28). The first question we ought to ask ourselves is this: Eight days after what “sayings”? Well, if we go back just a few verses, we learn that about eight days earlier Jesus had been praying privately when the disciples…