In Community with All the Saints

In the book of Hebrews, chapter 11 contains a catalog of people from the Old Testament who obeyed God because of their faith, the people we call saints. The list concludes,"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set…

Continue Reading In Community with All the Saints

Farewell to the Alleluia

Hallelujah!Praise God in His sanctuary.Praise Him in His mighty heavens.Praise Him for His powerful acts;praise Him for His abundant greatness.Praise Him with trumpet blast;praise Him with harp and lyre.Praise Him with tambourine and dance;praise Him with flute and strings.Praise Him with resounding cymbals;praise Him with clashing cymbals.Let everything that breathes praise the Lord.Hallelujah!(Psalm 150)This Sunday marks a turning point in the church year. It is Transfiguration Sunday, and Wednesday will be Ash Wednesday. Typically services perform some kind of ceremony to "bury the…

Continue Reading Farewell to the Alleluia

Getting to Grateful

Depression. It has certainly tested my resolve in the last twelve months. I would like to share humbly what I have learned about dealing with depression. This is not meant to help if you are suicidal or wish to harm yourself. In that case, I urge you to call someone and get help. If you have no one to call, call the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 211.These are some of the effects depression has had on me. Sometimes it feels like you…

Continue Reading Getting to Grateful

We Are All One

"Now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:25-29). Do you like to read mystery novels? I do. I was thinking…

Continue Reading We Are All One

The Gift of New Life: Worship

"In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb" (Luke 1:39-42). What is it about a baby? When my first niece was born, I was astonished.…

Continue Reading The Gift of New Life: Worship

Christ the King

"I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to…

Continue Reading Christ the King

I Wait for the Lord

"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,and in his word I hope;my soul waits for the LORDmore than those who watch for the morning,more than those who watch for the morning.O Israel, hope in the LORD!For with the LORD there is steadfast love,and with him is great power to redeem.It is he who will redeem Israelfrom all its iniquities" (Psalm 130:5-8).Nehemiah stepped from the last stair up onto the watchtower. Daniel was there, waiting to be relieved. Some evenings Daniel would loiter…

Continue Reading I Wait for the Lord

The Day of the Dead

"Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed, and I will declare your greatness" (Psalm 145:3-6). hile Lutherans around the world are celebrating All Souls Day on November 1, in Mexico the celebrations are more colorful and festive. Some may confuse Día de…

Continue Reading The Day of the Dead

What Is Christian Freedom?

"So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36)."But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness" (Romans 6:17-18)."Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another"…

Continue Reading What Is Christian Freedom?

Trusting God

O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. O give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; who spread out the earth on the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever; who made…

Continue Reading Trusting God

A Meditation on Joy

"Sing praises to the LORD, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning" (Psalm 30:4-5). I heard this story about a college student practicing the piano. They were trying to learn the song "Joy Cometh in the Morning." There was a complicated chord change right after "Weeping may endure for the night, but.…

Continue Reading A Meditation on Joy

Take Up Your Cross

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for…

Continue Reading Take Up Your Cross

Jesus, what are you telling us to do?

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)“I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)Sometimes I am confounded by the Bible. But I find it comforting that the disciples found Jesus' teachings hard to understand as well. In what is called Jesus Farewell Discourse in the book of John, we can see the confusion of the disciples. In John 14:1 Jesus says, "Let not your heart be troubled." Thomas asks, "Lord, we…

Continue Reading Jesus, what are you telling us to do?