Salem Lutheran Church

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Lessons from the Magi

Our Gospel story today is another one of my favorite stories in scripture. I am fascinated by how these “wise men from the East” would travel such a great distance to a faraway land to pay homage to a “king” they weren’t even sure was real. It is an incredible story for us to hear, but it is also a story that creates frustration for me.

Now, for a few of you, you know my frustration.…

What Gifts Will You See?

This Sunday, Jan. 6, the season of Epiphany begins with the Magi giving their precious gifts to Jesus. Did you know that many countries celebrate gifts from the Magi instead of Santa? Children in Latin America write letters to the Magi detailing their good behavior and asking for presents, while children in Spain leave straw in their shoes by the door for the Magi’s horses on Epiphany eve,…

The Light Shines in the Darkness

I pray you had a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

With all the presents opened, the fancy dinners prepared and enjoyed, and all the celebrations over, now is the time to remind ourselves of what this was all about.

Once again, we have been reminded that the greatest event in history has just happened! The promised one, the Messiah, was born. At his birth, it was humble shepherds keeping…

No Small Blessing!

“In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered” (Luke 2:1). Whether you are a person that attends church regularly, or you are a person attends church rarely, or if you are a person that has come to church for the first time tonight, my guess is that if I walked up to you on the street and read this first verse to you, that you would have been…

Sing God's Song

Can you believe it is December 23rd? In talking with folks many have said, I am just not ready for Christmas. In our staff meeting a couple of weeks ago one person said, “You know, it seems like it was Halloween just yesterday and tomorrow we are celebrating Christmas.” So here’s the thing, whether we are ready or not, Christmas is coming.

Now, for most of us, being ready…

Holy Jumping Babies!

Luke 1:39-55 Common English Bible (CEB)

Mary visits Elizabeth

Mary got up and hurried to a city in the Judean highlands.She entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with…

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…

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