Salem Lutheran Church

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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…

Love is Love. God is Love.

If you haven’t heard about the recent United Methodist Church meeting and decision, here’s some info: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/26/us/united-methodists-vote.html.

Many I know who are part of the UMC are reeling based on the decisions made by their denomination. Most Methodists I’ve…

Holy Living: Love Your Enemy

Last week we started reading what we call Jesus’ “Sermon on the Plain.” This is a series of teachings, beginning with the Beatitudes, which we read last week, that Jesus offers his disciples that are intended to help his disciples understand a way of living that is different from the ways of this world. As I noted last week, these teachings offer us a way to live “holy lives.” And today,…

Love Your Enemies

This past Sunday, we heard Jesus begin his Sermon on the Plain with Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, Luke 6:17-26. As I noted in my sermon, the Beatitudes were not intended to offer an abstract way of living; they were “Jesus’ way of offering us a very specific ways of holy living.”

And now, this week, we will hear Jesus offer some very specific ways of living that probably,…

The Choice is Ours

Our Gospel text today is the beginning of Luke's version of Matthew's "Sermon on the Mount." Like Matthew, it begins with beatitudes and ends with a parable about building a house on a sound foundation. Unlike Matthew, it’s much shorter, and takes place on a plain, not on a mountainside; we call it the “Sermon on the Plain.”

Now, as I have done the past couple of weeks, I think it is…

Choose to Be a Blessing

This Sunday we’ll hear Jesus encourage those who are poor and hungry, telling them they will be blessed and satisfied. He then goes on to warn those who are rich and full, that they may not receive those comforts later. (Luke 6:20-26) It’s a great time to focus on love, humility, and compassion, don’t you think?

Before Jesus speaks, Luke writes about how power goes out of Him when…

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