God, in his birthing of the church at this first Pentecost event, did not erase our differences. What I believe in my entire being, is that god invites us to celebrate what makes us so unique and amazingly different.
Being different is something that we do not need to ever fix. God joins us in the midst of our human messiness and continues to light a path for the prophets to lead the church. Today, that is you and that is me.
Deacon Christine P. Connell
Chief Executive Officer
Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area
The Latin term Incurvatus in se means “to turn or curve inward on onesself.” Martin Luther explained this state in his Lectures on Romans:
“Our nature, by the corruption of the first sin, [being] so deeply curved in on itself that it not only bends the best gifts of God towards itself and enjoys them (as is plain in the works – righteous and hypocrites), or rather even uses God himself in order to attain these gifts, but it also fails to realize that it so wickedly, curvedly, and viciously seeks all things, even God, for its own sake.”
How can we uncurve our hearts and open our arms to others?
Charles Boyle and Jake Peralta are partners and best friends on the sitcom, Brooklyn Nine Nine. They always have each other’s backs, and this is especially true when Charles needs a Captain Latvia doll for his son for Christmas.
Pastor Kate explores their relationship and the connection to Jesus’ promise to the disciples to ask God the Father to send another Advocate to be with them forever.
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If you’ve ever been on a phone call with someone you know well, then you likely can identify who answers the phone simply the other person’s voice. Pastor Kate had an experience in which the person she thought she was speaking with may not have been correct. She then uses that story to examine Jesus’ claims in John 10 that the sheep know the shepherd by the sound of his voice.
You are an adult when you pay for things you can’t see. This is the newest marker of adulthood. Yet, sometimes it seems to be easier to understand why we should pay the electric bill than to believe in a risen God. Pastor Kate explores these ideas alongside the “Doubting Thomas” story.
Jesus’ arrival in Bethany must have been agonizing for Mary and Martha, especially when Jesus arrives a day too late for there to be any hope of bringing their brother, Lazarus, back from the dead.
Sometimes waiting for God to show up in our lives is agonizing. God just doesn’t seem to show up when we want or expect. Pastor Kate explores these themes and the story of the raising of Lazarus.