Christ the King Sunday
Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
Good morning! We have made it to the end. The end of a four day weekend. The end of the church year. The end of Matthew, and the end of the world, at least in our Gospel reading for today. Matthew gives us a picture of Jesus in his full maturity, on a throne-- a ruler, in highest glory with his subjects before him. All the nations gathered. And then he separates all people to his right side, and to his left.
It’s a familiar painting of extremes in Matthew, particularly in our readings from the past several weeks. We have heard about wedding guests who are properly dressed, and those who are not, and are thrown out of the party hand and foot. We have waited with the wise virgins who filled their lamps before the bridegroom came, and the foolish virgins who ran to get oil too late and were locked out of the party.
And last week, we scratched our head at the faithful servants whose were rewarded for their riches, and the lazy servants punished for holding onto what little they had.
All of these stories have come from Jesus last sermon in the Gospel of Matthew. All about the End of Times, and the Great Separation of good from evil, eternal life from eternal punishment, You who are blessed from you who are accursed, the sheep from the goats.
Press Clip Source: Southside Pride
Date: November 7, 2017
Article by: Elaine Klaasen
Cultural Uniqueness of Trinity Lutheran Congregation
When I talked with Jane Buckley-Farlee, co-pastor of Trinity Lutheran Congregation, we discovered she had been at that church as long as I’ve been at Southside Pride—21 years. I’ve been reporting on religious groups, mostly churches, during all this time; overall, I see them as hidden enclaves doing amazingly positive humanitarian things. In Jane’s 21 years, she has seen a new version of The Church emerge. She has seen it struggling to be what it needs to be.
Trinity Lutheran Congregation, which worships in Augsburg College’s Hoversten Chapel—never having replaced its worship space when its building was displaced by the freeway in the 1960s—is an unusual mingling of cultures. A little over half of the worshippers are Caucasians and the others are Eritreans and Ethiopians, who were Orthodox, Mekane Yesus (Lutheran) or other types of Christians in their countries of origin. It’s notable that Ethiopian and Eritrean Christians worship together since “tension ebbs and flow between Eritrea and Ethiopia in Africa—they’re always on the verge of war,” says Pastor Jane. “Eritreans and Ethiopians want to get along—want a place where they can be together. Trinity is known as a neutral place amongst East Africans in Minneapolis. It’s a gathering place, a meeting ground, specifically for them.”
All Saints Sunday – A, ‘17
Rev. 7:9-17; 1 John 3:1-3; Matt. 5:1-12
Friends, how are you doing? I don’t mean the kind of ‘how are doing’ that calls for a smile and an “OK’ when you’re not. I mean, how are you doing?
Our Central Conference of the Minneapolis Area Synod met at Trinity this past Thursday, and we talked about what we are seeing around us. What we all agreed on was that people, people in our congregations and our cities and our state, our country and the world are anxious. And weary.
As I read the reading from Revelation the phrase ‘great ordeal’ had new meaning for me. This is not to suggest that any of our angst these days compares in any way to the oppression that the early Christians to whom these words were written were dealing with when these words were written. But it did occur to me that this year, this Fall, has felt something like a great ordeal.
The declarations that come out of Washington continue to wear on those of us who see a better way. The possibility of a rash action leading to another war seems more real these days. The natural calamities continued without ceasing. Floods, fires, hurricanes. Even though they have not been in our own back yard, they are real and we feel with and for those who have been affected. The same is true of the violence – shootings, cars and trucks being used as weapons makes us all feel more vulnerable that we care to admit. The truth about sexual harassment and assault reveal a reality that has been just under the surface, perhaps forever.
Throughout the past week, I’ve been having one-on-one chats with each of the kids at Safe Place. I ask them a series of questions about how school is going, what they need the most help with, and whether or not they have any suggestions for the program. I’m planning on doing this at least twice per semester. These sessions are not only a fun way for me to intentionally get to know the kids--they also give me useful ideas for continuing to mold the program to their educational needs and provide me with plenty of funny stories. Most of the time, when I get to the question about suggestions for the program, I get answers like, “We should have fruit snacks every day!” and “We need more candy!” But occasionally, something unexpected pops up. Last week, I was chatting with one of the first graders. Apparently, school is going “SO well” for her, and she’s learning “SO MANY things every day.” When I asked if she had any suggestions for the program, she smiled and said, “Ab-so-lute-ly no-thing,” shaking her head back and forth to emphasize each syllable. I asked her to think about it some more: “Is there anything that would make Safe Place better for you?” She thought for a moment, swiveling around in her chair, and then said, “I know! You should put up some BIG BLUE lights that are ALWAYS on. Even when nobody’s here.” Where did that come from?