Bible

Foster your faith with these articles and reflections that explore God’s Word.

What would Jesus feel?

by Julie A. Kanarr— Think back to when you were a child: What were you taught about expressing your feelings? Were all your emotions respected? Or were you encouraged to keep certain feelings—especially negative ones—to yourself? Early in life, we begin to intuit the...

read more

What are the stories that shape your life?

by Jordan Miller-Stubbendick The stories of our lives are both familiar and hidden. There are family stories that have been told so often that they become legends: stories of how people met, births, Christmases and ordinary days where something unusual happened. In my...

read more

Listen! God is calling.

by M.E. Stortz— I was elated to find time in a busy day. A canceled meeting? I could make a grocery store run. If I walked quickly, I could get there and back in time for my next appointment. I hit the streets. A few blocks into my walk, someone called my name. I...

read more

Esther is an unlikely hero, but one we need

by Debbie Blue— While I love the VeggieTales version of the book of Esther, this biblical woman’s story is more R-rated comedy than child-appropriate. If you’re looking for a woman role model to include in the children’s Sunday school curriculum, Esther may not be the...

read more

How best do we stand up for what we believe?

When I was 19 I took a weekend field trip with my Christian Faith and Ethics class to visit Chicago.We toured the city to meet people doing God’s work across a multicultural landscape.We met a pastor who ministered among young gang members in a...

read more

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...

read more

Am I doing this right?

—by Laurie A. Jungling Several months ago, some members of my congregation gave me a T-shirt that read, “Prays well with others.” I love the T-shirt, but every time I read that phrase, I wonder: Do I pray well with others? Do I pray well alone? What does it mean to...

read more

Listening to God’s beloved daughters

—by Christa von Zychlin Who’s ever heard of the strong, strangely-named Zelophehad sisters: Mahlah, Noa, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah (see Numbers 27:1-8)? Who could possibly wring laughter and empowerment from Tamar’s story (2 Samuel 13:1-22), along with deep, visceral...

read more

Can we be different together?

By Gwen Sayler— To say that we live in anxious times is an understatement. Harsh rheto­ric fills our airways, and violent actions our news—often pitting one religion against another or el­evating one religion above others. How are we called to respond? Scriptural...

read more

Reading the Bible for love

by Laurie A. Jungling— Reading the Bible is a big deal. Whether we’re reading it alone or in commu­nity, whether we’re hearing it in worship, engaging in group Bible study or doing personal daily devotions, reading the Bible is im­portant for our relationships with...

read more

Alleluia! Hallelujah!

by Meghan Johnston Aelabouni— In the last few weeks of my grand­mother’s life, while she was still alert enough to talk with us, she started recalling old memories: her childhood in New Jersey, seeing the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and a certain snowy night...

read more

Unexpected neighbors

by Cara Strickland— I have never been beaten and left on the side of the road. But I have been hurt, finding myself in need of both practical and emotional help. In my experience, it’s rarely the people I expect to be able to count on who come to my aid. Like the man...

read more

Story within a story

by Martha Stortz— Do you remember playing with Russian dolls, those precisely nested toys shaped like bowling pins and painted in bright colors? The largest doll opens to reveal a small­er doll. That doll opens to another. And another. And yet another. Until finally a...

read more

Our next of kin

by Cindy Novak— Jews and Christians have a unique bond—and are even described as being “siblings” and “next of kin” in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America resources. Since the 1960s, the ELCA and its predecessor church bod­ies have striven to nurture that bond by...

read more

Studying Scripture

by Karen G. Bockelman— Blessed Lord God, you have caused the holy scriptures to be written for the nourishment of your people. Grant that we may hear them, read, mark, learn and inward­ly digest them, that, comforted by your promises, we may embrace and forever hold...

read more

I love you. What were you thinking?

by Anna Madsen— I’m not saying that I’ve had a lot of “aha” moments in life, but here’s one that happened for sure: My late mentor and professor, Walter Bouman, taught us that the key for some sort of understanding of “Holy Spirit” might be less “Spirit” and more...

read more

Thomas and me

by Cara Strickland— “Jesus said to her, Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the...

read more