Interim – the time between

Isaiah reframes the word “exile” as “interim”: the time between “things of old” and the “new thing” God is about to do. The prophet speaks a word of encourage to a community living in  an interim time.  “Thus says the Lord, the God who created you, Mt Zion, the One who got you started in the […]

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The church: treasure in an earthen vessel

St. Paul gives us the image of a treasure in an earthen vessel.  The earthen vessel is the church — building, budgets, call committee, church council, etc. — Mt. Zion Lutheran Church.  The treasure is Jesus.  Without the treasure, the earthen vessel is just another ordinary clay pot.  Without Jesus, the church is just another […]

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Sharing our legacy

Sharing our legacy One Christmas in a moment of inspiration, Steve and I decided that the legacy we really wanted to leave to our kids could summed up in a few phrases. With that in mind, our gift to them that year was a piece of calligraphy with those nuggets of wisdom. I’m pretty sure […]

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Searching for answers

We’re always searching for answers. When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens wouldn’t work in zero gravity. NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below […]

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High-flying geese and the church

Way back then, he looked so, so, so old. He waddled to the pulpit and all my fears of what seminary would be like were instantly intensified. But, this first chapel experience at Wartburg Theological Seminary would turn out to be one I would never forget. His voice cracked and his speech was extremely slow, […]

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Waiting vs. I-want-it-now

Waiting. Have you heard of the American prayer? “Lord, give me patience, and I want it right now.” We want things easy. And we want them now. That reminds me of a story. Little Johnnie desperately wanted a bright red wagon for Christmas. His friends were writing letters to Santa Claus, but Johnnie decided to […]

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King or servant?

NBA star Labron James calls himself “King” James and he calls his wife “the princess.” One of his opponents shot back, “we have a king,” implying, “it’s not you!” Do we in some ways call ourselves king or servant? Are we tempted (even if it means stepping on, somebody else, now and then) to think […]

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John, the baptizer, calls us to repent

Repent Maybe it’s just me, but when I hear somebody shouting “repent,” what I really hear is, “Stop being bad, and start being good — turn or burn.” We’ve heard it all before. It’s the same old, same old. We screw up, make a mess of things — we’re punished. We say we’re sorry, and, […]

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The stories we tell

We love to tell the stories… In short there’s simply not A more congenial spot For happ’ly ever-aftering Than here in Camelot. Camelot The story is based on the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Two themes are woven through it: Arthur’s dream of a peaceful world where “might serves […]

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