“We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. Liberated by our faith, we embrace you as a whole person questions, complexities and all. Join us as we do God’s work in Christ’s name for the life of the world.”
Welcome to believers and questioners, and to questioning believers.
Here’s what is happening at Salem
August 17, 2017
“We are beggars; this is true,” are reported to be Martin Luther’s last written words. Christians are “beggars” for God’s grace, undeserving but graced nonetheless. A beggar’s faith focuses not on what is given or accomplished or believed, but on what is received: the healing and sustenance desperately longed for and needed.
In Sunday’s gospel, the Canaanite woman is such a “beggar” for Jesus’ healing for her daughter. She is denied a place at the table at first, but she will accept even “crumbs” in the faith that Jesus’ healing power and love are intended even for her. As a Gentile outsider, she inhabits the margins of Jesus’ mission to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Jesus’ eventual response to her beggar’s faith reveals that the love of God even encompasses the margins.
Marginalized or not, we are all beggars before God, as Paul reminds the Romans—all “imprisoned in disobedience” and dependent on God. Thus, our sense of “insider” and “outsider” crumbles in the face of our common need and God’s abundant mercy to all. Instead of dividing people between those who have a place at the table and those who get crumbs, we have an opportunity to share hospitality with our fellow beggars.
It can be challenging to see ourselves as beggars. Today the Canaanite woman becomes our model, as she persists with both humility and audacity. As disciples of Jesus and “beggars” for God’s grace, we live the same paradox of humility and audacity, boldly coming to Jesus and humbly acknowledging our need. Even though crumbs from God’s table would be enough for us, we are offered instead the abundance of Jesus’ own self in bread and wine and invited to share this abundance with insider and outsider alike.
Sunday, August 20
Coffee Hour 10:30
Monday, August 21
Executive Committee 7:30
Thursday, August 24
Food Pantry 4:30
We now have a special place on our website for our youth ministry. You can find it under Ministries on the menu bar at the top or by clicking here!
Aging & disability resource
We have added an aging and disability resource guide. You can find it under Resources above or by clicking here.
- “Let Go of the Fear and Cling to Faith” (8/13/17 – Pentecost 10A)
- Pastor Linda Kraft’s sermon for August 6, 2017
- “Proceeding with Weeding Could Be Misleading” (7/23/17 – Pentecost 7A)
- Parable of the Sower (Katie Adams – 7/16/17 – Pentecost 6A)