Salem Lutheran Church

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Invited to Gather & Change

Now isn’t this a cheery text! I mean, just when you think things are looking good the whole premise of the parable seems to take a turn for the worse with those final two verses, when the king says, “ 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:13-14). This…

Invited to Gather: To Live by His Authority

Do you remember that sitcom on the late '80s, Who’s the Boss? ? It was about a widower and former baseball player who had to give up his baseball career because of injury, so he decides to become a housekeeper for a high-powered divorced businesswoman. We had come a long way in the '80s, but the premise that a man would be a stay-at-home dad and housekeeper while a woman would…

Invited to Gather: Filled with Grace

Living in community is never easy. It would be so much easier if we could just live in a world where everything we did, said, or thought was the way we wanted it. But, the truth is, that’s not how things work and that’s not how God created us to be. God created us to be in community. As we heard two weeks ago, living in community means that at times we will experience conflict, and…

Invited to Gather in Community

Well, if you ask me, this set of rules that Jesus has laid out for us in this story today makes a lot of sense, and it doesn’t sound that difficult, does it? I mean if someone sins against you, go talk to them, face to face. If they listen to you and respond positively, then move on. Your relationship has been restored. But, if they don’t listen, you have more work to do. Jesus says at this…

Sent to Love: A Journey of Faith

Our gospel story today actually began last week with Jesus asking the disciples “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (16:13). In response, they reported that on the street people were saying he was John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or another one of the prophets. But Jesus also wanted to know who the disciples thought he was, and when he asked them, Simon Peter said, “You are…

Sent to Love: To Discover God

When we left off last week, after some convincing, Jesus had offered healing for the daughter of a Canaanite woman. Through this woman’s persistence, Jesus came to realize that God had sent him to bring the Gospel to all people, not just the Jews. From there, Matthew tells us that Jesus went on to heal even more people, and out of compassion for those in need that Jesus fed over 4000 people…

Sent to Love: Speak & Act for Justice

I love Jesus and I love the promise of salvation he brings to this world. But, there are times that his words and actions greatly disappoint me and today’s lesson is one of these times. Reverend David Lose, the senior pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, a congregation of over 14000 members, and the most recent president of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia,…

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,…

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