Salem Lutheran Church

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​Tell the Story

As I mentioned in my last letter, this year marks the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation. One of the major reforms that came out of this Reformation was the practice of reading Scripture in one’s own native language. Martin Luther believed that if God’s Word was going to be accessible to God’s people, then it needed to be translated into the people's native…

Sent to Love: Discovering the Kingdom

According to the gospel of Matthew, Jesus began his ministry immediately following John the Baptist’s arrest and from the beginning Jesus proclaimed, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 4:17). From the beginning, Jesus’ ministry was about sharing with the world the need for the people to repent, that is change their ways to God’s ways because God’s kingdom…

Sent to Love: Listen & Act

As our story begins today, Jesus is sitting on the shore of the Sea of Galilee just outside of the town of Capernaum and large crowds are gathering to listen to him. In fact, the crowd got so large that Jesus had to get in a boat to speak while the crowd filled the shore. Jesus was trying to explain about the kingdom of heaven, a complex notion, and so like any good teacher he began using different…

Sent to Love: God with Us

Compared to the past several weeks, as our gospel story begins today, everything has changed. Jesus has finished instructing the twelve disciples (Matthew 11:1) and he has now moved on. He is traveling around again to various cities and towns, proclaiming his message of repentance, for “the kingdom of God has come near” (Matthew 4:17). While Jesus continued on, John, while in prison,…

Can I Have a Witness?

As you most likely know, this year we are commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Legend proclaims that, on October 31, 1517, a young German monk by the name of Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany. These theses, or statements, were actually a list of 95 propositions that Luther wished to debate to help reform…

Sent to Love: A Cup of Cold Water

For the past several weeks we have been listening to Jesus provide his disciples instructions on what it will take to be a disciple. He began this time of teaching because he had commissioned the twelve disciples to go out and do the work he had been doing; he empowered them to cure the sick and drive out evil spirits. He provided them warnings of the persecutions and trials that would follow,…

Sent to Love: God First

Today we continue on right where we left off last week. When we ended the reading last week, Jesus was in the midst of sending the twelve out to do the ministry he had been doing. It would be their first “road trip” on their own and so he was giving them instructions as to how to go about this ministry and he was warning them of the dangers of doing such a ministry. Even though he was…

Sent to Love: Ready or Not

Last Sunday we read about Jesus’ final instructions to his disciples. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). This Great Commission as we call it, came after Jesus had spent many years with his disciples in mission…

​A Call to Action!

This past Sunday, June 4, we read in John’s gospel: “When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you'” (John 20:19). As I noted in my sermon, Jesus’ words, “Peace be with you,” are more than just a greeting; they are…

Sent to Love

For the past six weeks we have focused on the importance of gathering as a faith community. That is, why is it critical for Christians to gather regularly to worship? We learned that we gather to love, to learn to see Jesus, to learn Jesus’ voice, to make room for others, to be transformed and finally, we gather so that we might be one.

Today, our focus changes! Oh, we still need to…

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