Trinity Lutheran Church

Sept. 22, eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost.

As we are invited today to consider what it means to be managers (rather than owners) of all that we have, it is crucial to recall that we are bought with a price. “Christ Jesus, himself human, … gave himself a ransom for all. Apart from the generosity of God we have nothing – we are nothing. By God’s gracious favor we have everything we need.

Pastor Wayne A. Strohschein based his sermon on Luke 16:1-13.

Have you ever met or known someone who did something you knew was wrong but yet you admired them anyhow? Just something about their audacity, cleverness, creativity or simple boldness that we wish we had a measure of.

That is what I think when I consider the steward in today’s gospel lesson.

This is a difficult parable.  At first it seems pretty straight forward but then you begin to think about it, begin to notice some of the details and it strikes you things are not as they first seem. One is left wondering, pondering the meaning and message of this parable. There are points in the parable when we go, “Huh?”

The master commended the steward for his resolute action in the face of a crisis. The steward becomes an example of dealing prudently with money, telling his audience something else is more important than money and “stuff.”

Parables jar. Parables jolt.  Parables shake us out of our normal perceptions of the way things are in the world. They awaken us to what is of real value in the kingdom of God. Today’s parable brings us up short as Jesus commends the actions of a dishonest man and we go “Huh”  till the realization dawns on us, it is a matter of choosing what is of value. Then we go “Yes.”

Remember next Sunday is the 5th Sunday. You will be choosing the hymns and will be asked to give generously for the Heart of the Hills Food Harvest. More and more are coming in for emergency food.

Happy birthday to Amber Wittorff-Dupes, born on Sept. 24 and to Donna Hamm, born on Sept. 28.

Sunday school and Bible study are at 9:30 a.m. Sunday; worship is at 10:45 a.m. The 5th Sunday is set for Food Harvest. Bring food or a donation.

Today’s Lector: Jerry Johnson. Next Sunday’s Lector: Laura Wittorff.

 (Last Week’s News)

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24, ESV). Welcome to worship as we rejoice in the Lord!

Pastor Wayne A. Strohschein’s text for Sunday’s sermon was Exodus 32:7-14 and Luke 15:1-10.

He said all of us struggle with the fear that we have done something so awful that God will not be able to forgive us.

Jesus in our gospel lesson gave a powerful response to the scribes and Pharisees who were grumbling about his association with tax collectors and sinners i.e. people on the outside of the church, those not welcomed to come into the church let alone ones to be sought by the church. Yet sinners are the very one Jesus sought out, had dinner with and provided for their needs

One of the commentators put it this way – “God rescues strays, one by one, making the first move to find the lost and create new lives in them.”

Even while a sinner we have been made a saint by Jesus the Christ, called to His table, called to welcome others as he did, called to seek out those who have not heard the good news or who have not yet accepted the good news – Jesus is the Christ and he died for all of us.  Jesus is ready to make all of us holy even while a sinner.

Happy Birthday today to Alice Sturgeon, and on Wednesday the 18th to Emily Frampton. Happy Birthday, too, to Joshua Johnson on Friday the 21st.

Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., Ladies’ Workday; Sunday 9:30 a.m., Sunday School and Bible study, 10:45 a.m., worship and holy communion.

Today’s Lector: Donna Ham; Next Sunday’s Lector: Jerry Johnson.