Salem Lutheran Church

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You Are What You Eat

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh” (6:51). Let me just start by saying, YUCK! I mean, truth be told, if you were listening to what I just read you most likely had the same reaction as the “Jews” that were listening to Jesus some 2000 years ago. In six of the…

Are You Ready to Trust?

As I mentioned last week, we will be reading through Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel over the next several weeks. Now when we ended this story last week, we ended with the story of how the disciples left the “other side” in a boat without Jesus because when they left, Jesus wasn’t with them. If you remember, after Jesus had fed the 5,000, the people were excited and wanted to make Jesus their…

Can We Trust Jesus?

This past Sunday, we began a five-week series of readings from Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John. This series of readings focuses on one thing, and that is that Jesus is “the Bread of Life.” When it comes to healthy living, nutrition experts tell us that we should eat certain amounts of foods from the various food groups — vegetables, fruits, grains, meats, poultry, fish, and dairy. …

The Ordinary Can Do the Extraordinary

If I can make a suggestion, you might want to make sure you have a little breakfast before you come for the next several weeks, because today is the first of five weeks in a row in which we will read from the Gospel of John about food and specifically about bread and its importance in our lives.

Now before we begin talking about the text itself, I think it is important to get an understanding…

The Truth and Nothing But the Truth

As I have shared before, Amos is truly one of my favorite prophets. I suppose I like him because first, he really wasn’t a prophet in the typical sense. Amos wasn’t born into a religious family. He wasn’t dedicated at birth to the temple and raised in the temple like other prophets. In his own words, Amos says today,“I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser…

Freed To Love Our Neighbors

In our Old Testament reading for this coming Sunday, Amos 7:7-15, we hear how Amos was treated by the religious and political leaders of Israel when he spoke out for justice and God’s ways. Amos warned the leaders of Israel that their ways were wrong and that they needed to change, but the leadership did not want to hear that, and so they kicked him out. The high priest, Amaziah, who was technically…

Our Actions Matter!

About six years ago, Rodney Atkins, a country music artist, recorded a song called "Watching You". The song is a about a dad and his 4-year-old son who wants to be just like him. As the song begins, they are in the car and the little boy is eating his Happy Meal in the back seat, but when his dad has to hit the brakes suddenly, the meal goes flying and the little boy, without thinking,…

Compassion and Justice for All

Today, we are reminded that God’s grace, love, and healing presence are truly for everyone, and that God’s love never ceases, even if the rest of the world says otherwise. As our story begins, we are told that Jesus and his disciples have returned to the northwestern shores of the Sea of Galilee. Most likely they are back in Capernaum, and as crowds once again begin to gather around Jesus, a…

Time To Go To The Other Side

As we have heard the past couple of weeks, Jesus had been teaching and preaching in his hometown of Capernaum, a small fishing village on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. Last week we listened to how Jesus had been using parables to teach his followers what the kingdom of God was like, and as I noted then, Jesus was teaching that God’s kingdom was going to be in the “seediest of places.”…

Unjust Law

I am truly troubled these days, and I feel I need to share my concerns. As I am sure you have read or seen on TV, the United States has embarked on a practice of separating children from their immigrant parents who are attempting to enter this country illegally. Now, before I go any further, I am fully aware that we have laws, that we need laws, and that we need to enforce our laws; after…

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