Join Us Sundays
8:30am & 11:00am
GET IN TOUCH
“Warm Up” With Lutheran 101
If the winter chill has you singing the blues, come join us for heartwarming fellowship and lively discussion about our faith. Our first meeting will be some time around mid-February. We’ll learn about Lutherans, tour the history of the Reformation, and deepen your faith in Christ. Topics like sin and grace, the liturgy and the Sacraments, prayer and the Holy Spirit, Christian denominations, and any topic you bring to the table are always on the agenda… along with a pot of Lutheran coffee!
If you’re new to the Lutheran Church, this is the perfect group to understand about Lutheran worship and teaching. If you’d like to join Our Savior, you’ll get the information you need in this setting of Christian friendship and faith. If you’ve been a Lutheran so long that you no longer remember the Six Chief parts, you need to be a part of this class. Either way, sign up in the centrum to join us in February. We’ll set a date once we have enough sign-ups. (If childcare is needed, just let us know!)
Lord … By This Time He Stinketh
The Bible should be read by the nose.
Like incense from a thurible, the Bible pours out fresh meaning when we take the time to “scratch and sniff” its stories. For example, the perfume that Mary used to anoint Jesus’ feet becomes the aroma of sacrificial love. And how can one read the story of the Prodigal Son without smelling the stench of the pig sty on his clothes? The Bible invites us to catch a whiff of poor Lazarus, whose oozing sores mix with the odor of decaying garbage in an alley where only the compassion of bad-breathed mongrels soothes his pain.
We often add antiseptic scents into biblical characters, as if they walk around with 24-hour anti-perspirant and anti-bacterial hand soap. But our most beloved Bible personalities are earthy, often dirty, and usually smelly. Shepherds smell like shepherds and sheep like sheep. We miss the warmth of the Christmas story, for example, without the smell of the manger hay, the stable manure, and the sweat of two weary travelers—one, a mother perspiring through labor.
This olfactory challenge is not just a biblical issue. It has become a mini-theme for this new year 2019… for me –and for Our Savior Lutheran Church.
My new year started as our new canine companion, Graham, insisted on going outside at 4 in the morning … to encounter a skunk head on… or raised-tail-on. Right back into the house she stormed… to spread her newfound fulsome fragrance. A week or so later, the sewer backed up on our newly completed bathroom tile floor. For me, 2019 was ushered in by the foulest of fumes.
Of course, Our Savior has its own nasal nuisances. Most of you are aware of an eerily, mysteriously moving sewer-like odor wafting its ghostly way through the church like some spectral fiend. With dogged determination, we have consulted plumbers, replaced seals, poured all manner of chemical concoctions—everything short of exorcisms—to counteract this rank smell—all to no avail.
Some odors are simply unpleasant, but others are more serious. The Bible does not shrink from the most putrid odor of all—the smell of death. In John 11, Jesus’ friend Lazarus had been dead for four days when Jesus arrives late for the funeral. Sister Martha declares in the unmistakable English of the King James’ Version: “Lord, by this time he stinketh!” “Death stinks,” Martha proclaims, a fact that Nicodemus knew all too well.
You see, Nicodemus tried to cover up the stench of Jesus’ death with 100 pounds of myrrh. No doubt, Jesus broken body needed it, soaked in the perspiration of Gethsemane where Jesus sweat was like drops of blood ….the smell of the whip and thorn on broken flesh … the sickening stench of spit and hate. By the time he died, Jesus’ body ‘verily stinketh.’ Not even a million pounds of myrrh could undo the smell of hate.
Only God could turn death’s repugnant odor into the sweet balm of love. God opened Jesus’ tomb to a wondrous perfume that could not be replicated by Chanel, Dior, or even Avon. God gave us a whiff of pure love so we might spread that life-giving aroma to this world’s pig sties. Indeed, there are many bodies that need the sweet-smelling fragrance of safety and love… the immigrants on their 2,000-mile sweaty journey, the refugees on a dusty retreat from the sulphur fumes of guns and bombs, and for all of us who bear in our bodies the stench of sin, God’s grace is “sweet perfume, delightful.”
And so the Bible’s Good News comes alive…
for the prodigal, who smells of the pig,
for Lazarus, who carries the odor of death,
and even for Graham, stained by the skunk.
As we breath in the incense of New Life in Christ, together with all the Bible’s odorous characters,
we catch a whiff of the very redolence of heaven.