This year, Daniel Ramirez graduates from high school, and Alison Sigala, Sammy Schilling, and Jena Johanson graduate from college. Congratulations! We are proud of you!
On Sunday, May 26, we will move to our summer worship times. Traditional Worship Service will begin at 10:00 am in the Sanctuary. Contemporary Service will still begin at 8:30 am in Hope Hall.
On Monday, May 27, Memorial Day will be observed. The church office will be closed and regularly scheduled Monday morning events will be cancelled for the day, including Grace Room & Native Elders.
All CALL participants are welcome and encouraged to attend the year-end celebration on Sunday, May 19 at 12:45 pm at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church at 12th Street and Glendale.
During the month of May, Wilbur the pig welcomes monetary donations for Diaper Bags for foster families
licensed by Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest. Thank you for supporting the foster families in our community!
All during Lent, small groups gathered for Daily Lenten Prayer. In the sanctuary each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at noon for 20 to 30 minutes, we shared prayer, scripture, poetry, conversation, and God’s peace. When conversing about the good news for that day, good news about God’s abundant grace or love, forgiveness or goodness, usually, one among us would say: “Really? Is that really true?” An understandable question when grace or love, forgiveness or goodness seem absent in the world.
Throughout the Lenten season, we gathered on Wednesdays around the theme Walking the Valley of the Shadow of Death, each week considering a different biblical perspective on death. Death as a natural process, death as blessing, death as enemy, death as a community grief, death as loss. One perspective I had failed to see in scripture was death as teacher, death as something that informs how we live our lives.
You might know already: I love foot washing. Because, through it, we love people. Because, through it, we care for people. Because we show our lack of fear of others when touching their feet. Because, in foot washing, we accept the grimiest part of people and thus accept people—as they are.
What keeps on surprising me about foot washing is that those who wash others’ feet don’t mind. We really don’t. We’re happy to kneel at the feet of our friends and community members. We are honored to do so. Not once have I heard or seen anyone laugh at or even comment upon someone else’s feet.
Jesus comes to the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. While at table, Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with nard, a costly perfume, and wipes his feet with her hair. Grumbling ensues because Judas, one of Jesus’ disciples, believes Mary has wasted money on an extravagance while the small fortune—a year’s worth of wages—could have gone to provide necessary nourishment for the multitudes living in poverty. The gospel writer John gives us an insider’s view when he reports that Judas concerns himself less about “the poor” and more about ensuring wealth enough to steal from the common purse—for which Judas is responsible.
In today’s gospel, Jesus tells a story, a parable about two sons. One wildly extravagant and grateful. The other steady, reliable, and bitter. The father loves both sons, gives generously to both, shows extravagant grace to both. The father runs to greet his younger son and rejoices and throws a party after that son has wasted wealth and endured hunger and received no care from strangers. The father shares all he has with his older son, goes to find his bitter, envious son, and invites him to the party.
In today’s gospel, someone in the crowd following Jesus tells him about how Pilate murdered Galileans and mixed their blood with blood used for non-Jewish sacrifice. Jesus asks: Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? Jesus then recalls how the tower of Siloam fell and killed eighteen people beneath it. He asks: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No. The answer to both of these questions, no. Were these murdered people worse sinners than others? No. Were they killed because of their actions, because of their morals, because of their choices? No.
Phew! Thanks be to God! End of sermon.
Grace is looking for an Outreach Coordinator from May 15-September 15, 2019. The outreach coordinator will coordinate and oversee the summer heat respite program. Visit our jobs page for full details »
I wrestled with the Bible this week. Each year on the first Sunday in Lent, we read the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, and I have always had more questions than answers. Does God allow the devil to tempt us? Is this story calling us to resist temptation? Why would the Holy Spirit lead Jesus into the wilderness? Is the devil affirming Jesus’ identity as Son of God, or is he questioning that identity? What exactly is the devil? This week, I added some questions because of a new, seemingly obvious insight: this story is about Jesus.
On Ash Wednesday, we confront ourselves.
We begin worship in silence. We cannot avoid the thoughts inside our heads.
We confess our sin, our most grievous sin. We cannot avoid the truth of our communal confession, that we are a broken people.
We receive ashes on our forehead and hear: Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. We cannot avoid our mortality.
Probably for the last year, I’ve slowly been reading a book by public theologian Rob Bell entitled What We Talk About When We Talk About God. Among many other helpful insights, he illustrates in the book how we as people of faith came to create religion, in particular the Christian religion on the heels of the Jewish religion. Please understand, he describes the creation of religion, not God. He describes the slow progression of designating some places, some objects, some people as sacred, set apart from the mundane and ordinary.