Entries by Pastor Monte

Shall We Dance?

Proper 10B-24 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Sadly, today’s gospel depicts a scene of political violence which could be ripped from the headlines of this morning’s news. Our prayers are with former president Trump, those who were shot, and for the families of those killed yesterday at a political rally north of Pittsburgh. We must also continue […]

Rejecting Jesus

Proper 9B-24 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Our son, Mehari, became a U.S. citizen four months ago on March 13th.  At the ceremony, everyone got a small U.S. flag.  New Americans from over 60 countries embraced and waved the flag with joy.  Some of us may have a complicated relationship with the flag.  Standing in the courtroom […]

Because That’s What Love Does

Proper 8B-24 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Jesus is barely out of the boat when he is met by a large crowd. He and the disciples have just recrossed from the Gentile side of the sea where they encountered, healed, and restored to community the Gerasene demoniac. The disciples had probably expected trouble from the people who […]

Tune In to the Awe Channel

Proper 7B-24 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago June 23, 2024 The disciples feared they were perishing. The dramatic scene in our gospel today is famously depicted Rembrandt— Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee. Twelve men in a boat nearly capsizing. Five struggle to keep the rigging from flying apart. One leans into the rudder with both […]

Satan Falls Like Lightning

Proper 5B-24 – Semi-continuous Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Jesus must have been really, really, tired.  Just three chapters into Mark’s gospel, Jesus’ itinerary is exhausting: Jesus has gone from his hometown, to the wilderness, to Galilee, to the sea, to Capernaum, to a house, to a deserted place, and back out to the towns of Galilee, […]

One Story, One God, One People

Trinity B-24 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago John’s gospel reminds us, “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known” (John 1:18). What our eyes cannot perceive is nevertheless detected in, with, under, and above lived experience. The apostle Paul finds God […]

Encircled by Love

Easter 7B-24 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Only one American artist was allowed to exhibit her work with the 19th century French Impressionists. Her name was Mary Cassatt. Born this month of May in 1844, Cassatt grew up near Pittsburgh, but lived most of her adult life in France, where she befriended artists such as Edgar Degas. […]

The Rivers Shall Clap Their Hands

Easter 6B-24 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago “If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but […]

Taste and See

Easter 5B-24 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago Along the coast of Baja, California, row upon row of vines run across the valleys, turning the brown dusty soil into vast carpets of green.  Once the growing season is over, the verdant branches are pruned.  The land returns to brown. The vines are cut back almost to nothing.  Huge […]

Life to the Fullest

Easter 4B-24 Immanuel Lutheran, Chicago My great grandpa, Tom Flynn, was from a family of schoolteachers.  His sister became the first woman to be principal of the school in her small Minnesota town. Tom, by contrast, fell on hard times in the middle of the roaring twenties.  My great grandma, Cecilia Rose, said the two […]