Life

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

I wanted my daughter to feel Lutheran too.

I wanted my daughter to feel Lutheran too.

by Karris A. Golden— It's difficult for me to separate my religious faith from my personal identity. The feeling that I am Lutheran has been with me for as long as I can remember. Not surprisingly, I want my daughter to feel Lutheran too. I admit this desire gives me...

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Books, boats and frozen seas

Books, boats and frozen seas

by Elizabeth Hunter— In 1904 Jewish writer Franz Kafka wrote to a friend, “If a book does not wake us…why do we read it? ...A book must be the ax to break the seas frozen inside our soul.” Certainly, many people of faith have found this to be true. Stories—the...

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The reality of mothering

The reality of mothering

by Susie Gamelin—Mother's Day shines on my calendar like the famous green light from The Great Gatsby—the one at which Jay Gatsby gazes longingly each night. I was born on Mother’s Day, during visiting hours. I’ve always thought that I was a thoughtful...

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An eye toward belonging

An eye toward belonging

by Elizabeth Hunter—A few years ago an artist known as JR created a one day art installation in the most unlikely of places—the U.S.-Mexico border. The artwork, a huge table illustrated with a human gaze—one life-like eye on each side of the border—brought...

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Lament goes beyond words

Lament goes beyond words

by Nicolette Peñaranda—Before my first call as a pastor, I served as a pastoral intern at a Lutheran congregation and school in Argentina. My supervisor there spoke as much English as I did Spanish (not much). Transcending the language barrier would be...

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God chooses a side

God chooses a side

Whenever I engage with Scripture, I cannot help but notice that God always chooses a side— and that side is always with the marginalized and oppressed. That side is with the poor.BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE POOR?As an advocate for those living on the...

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What do I do now?

What do I do now?

by Sarah Carson"It's strep throat," the doctor said.It was 7:42 p.m. on a Thursday night, and my mother, my 2-year-old daughter and I were sitting in the urgent care examination room.We were going on vacation in just two days. Before then, I needed to read...

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Let’s Gather from home

Let’s Gather from home

As we live into the unprecedented measures being taken to keep us healthy and safe during the coronavirus outbreak, many of us are lamenting the need to stay away from our congregations and Bible study groups. Although you may not be able to meet in person with your...

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Walking with neighbors is a Lenten practice

Walking with neighbors is a Lenten practice

by Christa von Zychlin—It's the season of Lent which means I’m trying to listen to the Lord a bit more.Sometimes I catch myself thinking: You want me to love WHO, Lord? And serve them too? Lord, if working with your people weren’t so hard to do, I could be...

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Changing tables

Changing tables

by Elizabeth Hunter—She sat alone at a cafeteria table. Taller than anyone else in our third-grade class, the new girl peered out from behind thick glasses. Some of the boys at our parochial school had already poked fun at those glasses and her...

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Here I am, God

Here I am, God

by Catherine Malotky—Here I am, God, coming before you, trusting in your love for me, your acceptance, your welcome. I am your child, claimed by you in my creation, named by you in my baptism, shaped by you in my forming.I come from a long line of faithful...

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Answering the call: Gather readers share their stories

Answering the call: Gather readers share their stories

The Bible study sessions in January/February 2020 issue of Gather remind us that God calls us all to a vocation. For some this means service in the church; for others this means faithfully loving and serving our neighbors in our careers, in our communities...

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Against the current: Finding a place where I belong

Against the current: Finding a place where I belong

by Liz Colver—I got married two weeks before I turned 21 years old. I had my first child when I was 25 and began seminary at 27. I’m certainly not the youngest to do any of these things, so I was surprised one morning when, as I was dropping off my oldest...

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Keeping the struggling flame lit

Keeping the struggling flame lit

by Julie A. Kanarr—It was Sunday morning, and I was preparing to lead worship. This Sunday marked the festival of the Baptism of Our Lord, the first Sunday after Epiphany. During the service, we would be affirming the promises God makes to us in baptism....

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When a vocation knocks

When a vocation knocks

by Sarah Carson—I've had more jobs in my life than you will probably believe.I’ve been a dishwasher, a nanny, a stable-cleaner/horse-sitter. I’ve arranged flowers, delivered newspapers, waited tables and built towering displays of pop cans in grocery...

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