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Stephen’s Witness

As we anticipate the end of this pandemic and looking forward to returning to in person services and activities, we must fully acknowledge some things have fundamentally shifted. Which makes this Sunday’s text at the beginning of Acts, one in which the disciples begin to find new ways of serving the community and living their faith as they adjust to the new resurrection reality, an interesting story for us to consider as we look toward our future life together. Listen as Pastor Kate explores how we might pivot when new needs arise and where God is in the midst of all of this.

Accompanying Scripture:
Acts 6:1-7:2a, 44-60, Luke 23:33-34a, 46

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Stephen's Witness
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Emmaus Road

This week, some disciples can’t recognize the man they called Messiah only three days prior, and Jesus spends a whole day with them pretending not to know anything about the trauma that has gone down in Jerusalem. Here we see Jesus’s prankster side and we give thanks for laughter during these days that seem serious and uncertain. Listen as Intern Pastor Miriam explores how the story of the road to Emmaus reminds us that even in grief there is room for humor, and that even the Son of God liked to joke around.

Accompanying Scripture:
Psalm 30, Luke 24:13-35

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Emmaus Road
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Resurrection

This past year has felt, for many of us, like a long, extended Lent and Holy Week. As this pandemic year surrounds us with grief and loss many of us find ourselves looking for God – perhaps even doubting God’s existence. Much like the very first Easter morning, when doubt and disbelieve filled those who found an empty tomb, we seek relief and assurance. Listen as Pastor Kate explores the resurrection story and where we might expect to find a dead God, we instead discover Jesus is among the living and seeks us, wherever we may be.

Accompanying Scripture:
Psalm 118:17, 21-24, Luke 24:1-12

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Resurrection
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Triumphal Entry

While this Sunday we celebrate “Palm Sunday,” when we hear the story of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem from the Gospel of Luke, there aren’t any palm branches mentioned. There aren’t any “Hosannas!” proclaimed either. In fact, as Jesus nears the city, he stops and weeps over it, grieving that the people did not recognize God among them. It’s a far cry from the story we usually think of on Palm Sunday, full of excitement and joy from the people and Jesus alike. Yet, perhaps it is a more relatable Palm Sunday, one that matches the mood of spending a second Holy Week in relative isolation, weighed down by the sorrows of a year-long pandemic. Listen as Intern Pastor Miriam explores how we can recognize God among us despite our grief and pain.

Accompanying Scripture:
Psalm 118:1-18, Luke 19:24-44

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Triumphal Entry
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Zacchaeus

On our final Sunday in Lent before we get to Palm Sunday and Holy Week, Jesus is on his way to enter Jerusalem but must make a couple more stops before he gets there. Each part of the story this week, Jesus foretelling his death and resurrection, the disciples not understanding, the healing of a blind man, and then finally Jesus meeting Zacchaeus, invites us to consider if we see what Jesus means. Listen as Pastor Kate explores how sometimes there’s much more there than what we first see.

Accompanying Scripture:
Psalm 84:1-4, 10-12, Luke 18:31-19,10

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Zacchaeus
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Rich Man and Lazarus

As much as we shy away from conversations about money, most of us can admit to dreaming about all the things we could do if only we had a little more of it. This week, Jesus tells the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, offering a stark contrast between those who have and those who do not. Listen as Intern Pastor Miriam explores what this parable has to teach us, many of whom are stuck somewhere in the middle between rich and poor. Are we destined to be stuck in the middle forever? 

Audio clip, “Money, Money Money.” (Abba) – Mama Mia + Lyrics, YouTube, uploaded by Ine RP Braat, 4 October, 2017, https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IbYDCIFTOME.

Accompanying Scripture:
Psalm 41:1-3, Luke 16:19-31

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Rich Man and Lazarus
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Lost Sheep, Coin, Son

Many of us are so familiar with the three stories Jesus tells in Luke 15 that we’ll immediately say yes, we’ll go off to search for the one while leaving the other 99 behind. Even if the answer is yes, then the question also becomes, “are we willing to be the 99 left behind for the sake of the one?” Listen as Pastor Kate considers what it means to be lost and if it’s possible to be lost even when we’re already home.

Accompanying Scripture:
Psalm 119:167-176, Luke 15:1-32

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Lost Sheep, Coin, Son
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Lament over Jerusalem

This week Jesus has some difficult conversations with people about sin: Are some sins worse than others? Can we sin just a little bit, or is it all or nothing? Jesus then tells the parable of the fig tree, reminding us that our God is a god of second chances. Listen as Intern Pastor Miriam, in the introspective spirit of Lent, considers where have we fallen short this week and what will we do with our second (or third, or fourth, or fifth) chance?

Accompanying Scripture:
Psalm 122, Luke 13:1-9, 31-35

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Lament over Jerusalem
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Good Samaritan

When we read the story of the Good Samaritan, we often picture ourselves in the role of the Samaritan, helping another person (or being challenged to help another person) when others pass them by. But what if that’s not what Jesus means? What if Jesus intends for us to hear it another way? Listen as Pastor Kate explores the parable of the Good Samaritan from another perspective.

Accompanying Scripture:
Psalm 15, Luke 9:28-45

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Good Samaritan
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Transfiguration

In this week’s lesson, we hear the story of Jesus’s transfiguration, where, up on a mountain, Jesus’s face shines like the sun and his clothes become dazzling white; God’s divine presence peeks through. But what does this transfiguration really mean? And what difference does it make for us? Listen as Intern Pastor Miriam explores how God is active both on the dazzling mountain top and in the confusing low places of life.

Accompanying Scripture:
Psalm 36:5-10, Luke 9:28-45

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Transfiguration
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Faith Lutheran Church

3313 Arlington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

703.525.9283 (Church)
703.525.1375 (Preschool)

Worship Times

10:00 AM Streaming Worship

We invite you to join us this Sunday.