Friday, July 4, 2014
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Lutheran Christians take pride in saying that through baptism we are simultaneously saint and sinner. So I don't expect nor I am bothered if the 2 popes had lives that also show their brokenness. In fact, I believe that is what makes the witness of the Saints so powerful to me. The Saints are sinners like you and me! The difference my tradition has compared to Rome is that they were fully declared only a saint the day they died, because when they died the sinner was put to death once and for all and the Saint lives eternally with God. Canonizing saints can get the church to lose sight of the great cloud of witnesses of ALL the baptized Saints.
The Lutheran witness is that we are All saints now and it is not because of something extraordinary that we have done, but the extraordinary act of God through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. Both of these popes were influential leaders in the Roman Catholic Church and their leadership has had an impact on the entire Christian community and not just Catholicism. Which is probably why Lutherans have been commemorating Pope John XXIII on June 3rd for sometime now. These two popes are indeed saints, but it's not because they were popes. They are saints because they were baptized.
Friday, December 27, 2013
A story that made it into my Christmas eve homily occurred just a day before. I was at Bob Evans with two other pastor friends wondering how we can say something in our sermons about a story that many people know well. Then I saw a waitress that I have gotten to know throughout the past year. She was not waiting on our table, but came over to say hi. I asked her, "is this your first Christmas as a Christian?" With her face lit up like a Christmas tree her reply was "yes!" She went on to share how many people have told her that they just want to survive the holiday and with her heart breaking she would say to them, "don't you get how wonderful this all is!?!?!?" That was the message to Christians who are so familiar with the story, allow ourselves to hear this for the first time. She invited us pastors (shepherds) to hear this "good news of great joy for all the people". "The grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all!" May we be filled with the joy of the shepherds in Luke's Christmas story, for after they see and hear this Good News they go out and share it! Not much has changed in the 21st century. Three shepherds (pastors) pondered how they would (spiritually) take care of their flocks on Christmas. God still sends us messengers (angels) to bring us "good news of great joy for all the people." This waitress doesn't hesitate to share what she sees God doing in her life, why should any of us?
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Friday, April 19, 2013
A Word of Hope from Rev. Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
We now find ourselves a few weeks after Easter Sunday afraid in the wake of the bombings in Boston. Bishop Hanson proclaims a living word of hope in the darkness we experience today.
A message from our Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson. http://t.co/FiPn6MEOrw
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