“Carmen was a woman who had experienced a difficult life. She is a drug addict, prostitute, and gang member. She comes to sit in Father Boyle’s office before a baptism he is officiating. He keeps looking at the clock thinking about how he is going to be late for the baptism. She continues to pour out her life story and all the mistakes she has made. At the end of her story she says that she is a disgrace and Father Boyle realizes his shame of seeing her as an interruption meets the shame of her life.”
Homeboy Industries is a foolish business. The employees dress inappropriately and in ways that terrify middle class America. Their language is full of curse words. They show up late or not at all. The people they hire are truly unemployable. So why employ them? Father Boyle believes we are to imitate the kind of God we believe in. He believes passionately that God would be hiring them and giving them third, fourth, fifth and sixth chances. Continue reading God Is-Unmasking the love of God→
Pastor Thadd and I are excited to be starting a new sermon series this Sunday that will go throughout July. Weekly we will be using different chapters of the book Tattoos on the Heart, by Father Greg Boyle to lift up themes of the nature of God, the power of shame, the narrowness of community and the unique understanding of Christian success. I would encourage all of our members to read this book in the month of July to hear great stories from Father Boyle’s 20 plus years ministering to neighborhoods in LA dominated by gangs. They are so well told. I promise they will make you laugh, cry and grow in your hopefulness for God’s world. On Wednesday nights in July at 6, we will discuss a chapter of the book in a class where everyone will have a chance to share their reaction. Come, grow with us as we share the power of Father Boyle’s good ministry. Peace, Pastor Karl
What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? Okay, not that, I mean the second thing you do. Or, if you were to log all of your activities, every single one of them, for the past week and you do this for a year, what do you always find time to do every week, no matter what? The answer reveals your true priorities. Continue reading Putting God First→
What makes you cry? Once, on an episode of the Simpsons, Bart was skateboarding and got hit by a car. His mom was hysterical and I started crying with her. Something silly and dumb happened next, so it didn’t last long but still the Simpsons made me cry. Not many people can say that.
For me, all sorts of things bring on tears. When I dislocated my shoulder I cried because it hurt. When I attended my Aunt’s funeral, I cried because I was sad. When one of my kids was hurt I cried because they hurt. Sometimes, I’ll cry just because I am overwhelmed. Honestly, I think this is what happened when Bart Simpson got hit by a car. It isn’t that I was worried about a cartoon character. The TV sadness triggered some deep sadness inside of me.
Scholars believe that the book of John, one of four in the bible that tells the story of Jesus, was written a generation after Jesus was gone, around 90 AD. If Jesus was crucified around 33 AD, this would mean that most of the people that actually saw Jesus, walked with him, were taught by him would be dead sixty years later when the book of John would have been completed. In fact, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the four books of the bible devoted solely to the story of Jesus, were all written around the time that the first generation of believers were dying. These stories were put down on paper because there were fewer and fewer people who could share their first hand knowledge with others. Continue reading A Holy Spirit Led Church→
Pentecost is the traditional birthday of the church. On this day the Holy Spirit, God’s love and presence in this world, gathered and made the disciples of Jesus one. When the Holy Spirit landed on these believers, nothing, not language nor cultural identity, possibly not even a differing of beliefs, could separate God’s people. What unites us as church is far greater and bigger than anything that can separate us. Yet, often what separates seems much more powerful and intractable. I believe this is because our vision of church is often much smaller than God’s vision of the body born on Pentecost Sunday. Continue reading Birthday of the Church→
We hope to help you grow closer to God through our weekly meditations on Scripture. Our meditations are written by Senior Pastor Karl Hanf and Associate Pastor Thadd Book. Each meditation is based upon the assigned Scripture reading or readings of the week.
Enjoy your stay, and come back often!
Messiah Lutheran Church is located at 1200 Waggoner Road in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.