Life

Nurture your spirit with these stories and reflections that explore the human experience.

The ministry of Jesus invites us to “Taste and see”

by Elizabeth Hunter— Do you associate sounds, sights or scents with feelings or memories? I know I do. Just a hint of ginger stirs up thoughts of Christmas and my mom’s peppernut cookies. Walking by lilies of the valley awakens memories of Easter and being held in the...

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Jesus in three dimensions

by Sarah Carson— Somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my brain, I have several snapshots of a cartoon my mother used to play for my sister and me. I don’t have a complete memory—just a few random snippets stuck in the gray matter of my amygdala. I can’t tell you...

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Celebrating bold women

by Linda Post Bushkofsky— Have you ever thought about Mary as a bold woman? Our Advent memories of Mary’s song of justice have not waned so much that we can’t appreciate her boldness. During Epiphany Mary persists, caring for the infant Jesus as visitors follow the...

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Water and life abundant

By Ryan P. Cumming “I know I will never live as long or as well as I could have because I drank that water,” a resident of Flint, Michigan, told me and several of my colleagues from the ELCA churchwide organization. I sat in stunned silence and listened to this man...

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Encountering Jesus

by Tuhina Verma Rasche— I clearly remember my first encounter with Jesus. I was a college student and I was not intending to visit a church for dinner—let alone meet God in the face of everyone I encountered there. I was also not at all intending to encounter the Holy...

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To save just one life

by Sarah Carson Amanda was in a Detroit motel room when she found herself at a turning point. The man she was with had begun to beat her. “I was scared for my life, so I ran into the bathroom with my cell phone and locked the door,” she says. On the counter she found...

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Real presence

by Elizabeth Hunter-- "Jesus meets us in our spiritual hunger and thirst," Bible study author Julie Kanarr says (p. 29), which perfectly sums up this issue's theme. At the same time, Jesus invites us to ''come and see," explains Susan K. Olson (p. 8), adding: "You've...

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His gift

--by Susan Sparks Fist fights. Pushing and shoving. Is it a political coup? A protest march? A Bette Midler concert? No. It’s Christmas shopping. One would think that after 2 million years of evolution, human beings would have transcended such nonsense. Sadly, our...

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The wobbly manger

—by Venice R. Williams ...she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn (Luke 2:7). The manger captivated me as a child. Each year I anxiously awaited the approach of the...

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Turn it around

—by Karen G. Bockelman Note: In the January/February 2019 print edition of Gather, the last line of this article was mistakenly cut off. A printable PDF of this article is available for download here. Sometimes we need to turn things around. When our daughter was 3 or...

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Real

--by Diane Norstad “Who are your ‘real’ parents?” That question was my first sense of being different in a negative way. My parents had told me about my adoption when I was little. We always thought of it as a good thing. As the Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians...

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You are not alone

—by Sarah Carson I was thinking about this issue of Gather the other night when I pulled into the copy store parking lot. My to-do list was yards long, and I’d already called the store twice to beg them to help me meet my deadline. “Fear not,” I told myself, as I...

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What’s wrong with keeping secrets?

–by Susie Gamelin A few years back, our family decided to play a game while recovering from a generous Christmas brunch. Each of us wrote on a slip of paper some­thing we thought the others didn’t know about us. The unsigned slips of paper were put into a bowl, drawn...

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Great Thanksgiving

—by Kathryn Haueisen But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery (Matthew 5:32). …but if you do not forgive others, neither will your...

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