The youth, young adults, and everyone going on the Holden Village trip this summer will be serving members of our community who need help cleaning, moving furniture, or doing yard work this year.
Our community building goal for December is to remember in prayer those for whom we do not normally pray: perhaps those with whom we struggle, people who are easily forgotten, or people we may believe do not need our prayer because they are successful. We may offer these prayers up during Sunday morning worship and/or during our personal, daily prayers.
Imagine in your mind’s eye a group of runners, including yourself, spread along a solid white line on a track. You are ready. Ready to run. You breathe deeply, shake the tension out of your hands and arms, last-minute stretching. You press your toes against the starting line. You focus on the finish line for this short sprint. You decide to give it your all. Finally, the time comes. You set your left foot forward, your right foot back. You bend your knees. You wait impatiently for the familiar commands. On your mark! You bend down, listening. Get set! You’re just about to pick up your foot, to expend all your energy in pursuit of the finish line. Can you feel the tension, the anticipation, the energy of that moment? Like a chord unresolved, like the moment before the bride walks down the aisle, like those final pages of a mystery novel save one. That’s Advent.
Today in our gospel reading from John, Jesus stands on trial before Pilate. Pilate clearly doesn’t care who Jesus is, unless who he is happens to threaten the power of the Roman Empire. Pilate isn’t the one who brings Jesus into be tried; it’s the Jews who demand that Jesus be examined and punished. While Jesus never directly admits his identity as king, he does say: “My kingdom is not from this world… for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." Though not included in today’s passage, the next words out of Pilate’s mouth are “What is truth?”
During September, our Wilbur emphasis is Grace Buddies. For this ministry, we have partnered with Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest to provide a monthly morning of fun for adopted children. Grace will host Grace Buddies on the first Saturday of each month in our basement. Monetary donations this month will be utilized for pizza, snacks and other consumables for this wonderful work we are doing in the community. Thank you!
“Three Sides” is a new monthly podcast featuring stories from the ELCA. As a church that believes God is calling us into the world – together, “Three Sides” will share diverse voices from across this church. Typically, it’s said there are two sides to every story. But often a middle or third side of the story is revealed, providing another perspective to consider. In our introductory episode, our hosts give listeners a sneak peek of the first episode, “Women who lead.” Subscribe and listen today!
Living Lutheran is the magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and for just one more week we’re offering a special opportunity to save. Use promo code SAVINGS12 to receive 12 issues free with your three-year subscription.
Subscribe now. This offer expires on Thursday, Nov. 15.
One hundred years ago this Sunday, November 11, the most terrible war the world had ever known came to an end.
Sadly, Armistice Day did not mark the end of all wars. Human affairs among nations fail and natural disasters strike. Violence, cruelty, and injustice overwhelm us. And God raises up people who are willing to put their lives in harm’s way on behalf of their country.
Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died, Mary says.
Lord, if you had been here, 11 people from Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh would not have been killed a week ago.
Lord, if you had been here, people from Honduras and Guatemala would not have had to flee their homes to escape persecution.
Lord, if you had been here, Matthew Shephard would not have been brutally murdered in October 1998.
In the early 1500s in Germany, the Roman Catholic priest and professor Martin Luther, after reading and studying scripture in its original languages, after countless hours of prayer, after searching his soul, protested the exploitation of the common people of Germany by the church. He called out for theological reform, for an end to the church’s abuse of power, for deeper study and reflection on scripture made accessible to the German peasants.
In 2011, I attended my first meeting of CORA, the Council of Religious Advisors, for the downtown ASU campus. A table full of pastors and campus ministers, and we all wanted college students to be part of our ministries, me included. We gazed expectantly at the ASU liaison assigned to us, the gatekeeper for things like tabling space and event space and student email lists. She didn’t fulfill our wishes.