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Showing posts from May, 2009

Evangelicals All

ACTS 8:26-40; PSALM 22:25-31; 1 JOHN 4:7-21; JOHN 15:1-8 What’s the name of this church? (Lutheran Church of Hope) And it belongs to what larger church body? (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) How often do you think about that denominational title? While the age of denominational affiliation may be ending, that title still says a lot about who we are as a church. Or, at least, who we are supposed to be? Yet, when you think of yourself, on your own terms, do you think of yourself as an evangelical? What does evangelical mean? (Based in and recognizing the authority of Scripture) Evangelical comes from the Greek word, evanggelion, which means “good news”. This is not only the gospel, but all of the good news, the entirety of Scripture, which points to the saving work of Jesus the Christ. When the smaller church bodies merged to form the ELCA, the foundation for the church was not our ethnic heritage, our emphasis on education, our mission work, our ecumenical outr

What a Friend We Have in Jesus (but what about in each other?)

This week's text, John 15:9-17, talks about Jesus' followers as his friends. John 15:13 reads, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." So needless to say, I've been thinking about friendship this week. Also burned in my brain is the following incident: I was recently chatting with a friend who happens to be a couple years older than me. I don't think of this that often and she doesn't either. In the course of our conversation, a mutual acquaintance came up and mentioned our age difference. The acquaintance proceeded to ask my friend why, since I was younger, I was already married and had a baby on the way. The underlying implication was that there was something wrong with the friend since she was so far behind the curve in these areas. This compounds my mixed feelings about Mother's Day (Father's Day/Valentine's Day/Grandparent's Day/etc). Everyone does have a mother, but on that particular