Pastor Travis Norton

“For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.” Romans 3:28 

Romans 3 is always the appointed text for Reformation Sunday, which we will celebrate this coming Sunday, October 31. But when I read through Romans and think through the reformation, I must confess that it doesn’t rouse my passion. On the surface it feels like an intellectual argument better left to theologians. Are we saved by works or by grace…we hold that… etc. etc. I think we need to a better job showing how our theology of salvation by grace works in real life. I remember a dying woman asking me if God approved of her. She still had in her head, this idea, that she had to earn God’s favor by living a certain kind of life. At the end of the day, we all look at our lives and recognize that if we’re saved by works then we’re sunk! So, I reminded her of the good news that our faith is founded on, the good news she’d heard all her life in the Lutheran church. God approves of you, loves you, cherishes you and welcomes you into his Kingdom because of who God is and what Jesus has done. Your salvation is a gift to be received by faith. She believed and she died in faith and at peace.

-Pastor Travis

New Adult Seminar!

Freeing Jesus: Rediscovering Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way, and Presence
Lead by Pastor Ralph Anderson
October 17 – November 21
9:30am, Fireside Room

Who in the world is Jesus? Most of us can answer that question in a variety of ways, some very personal. Some based on what we’ve been told. Some have come from our studies, from what we’ve read. We know the stories, the experiences of others, the history of the Church.

He stands at the very core of the Christian Faith. Over 2000 years of history have helped define him. Even people of other faith traditions say that he is an important religious figure. The Muslims, for example. Many of us feel that if all followed Jesus the world would be a better place.

Diana Butler Bass, a well known theologian, helps us understand Jesus in some fresh new ways in her book, Freeing Jesus, which I recommend purchasing in advance. Out of her own experience she helps us understand and embrace the Jesus of history and faith. 

Come join us for six Sunday mornings of her reflections, beginning on October 17 at 9:30 AM in the Fireside Room: Rediscovering Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way, and Presence.

Pastor Travis Norton

When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  -Mark 10-47-48

They told him to be quiet. I understand why. Imagine you’re a follower of Jesus and someone comes and starts yelling and causing a scene. Wouldn’t your impulse be to protect Jesus, get the noise maker out of there? Of course the issue is that we see the world and people differently than Jesus does. Jesus sees every person as a person, not as a problem or an issue. I wonder how much our society would change if we learned how to see every person as an individual loved by God? What does it look like to see people as people and not problems?

-Pastor Travis

Pastor Travis Norton

“Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.” -Jesus

We read that line a lot in the church. Whenever we install anyone to an official position from pastor to lay Professional, to council or Sunday school teacher. When we send someone on a mission trip we say these words of Jesus. We have this value as Christians that we serve each other, that we treat others as higher than ourselves. We need constant reminding because it is so easy to think we are owed thanks, recognition or respect in exchange for our service. We think we are owed or should be paid in some way because that is the way of the world. Jesus said it to his disciples; that among the Gentiles those who are rulers “lord it over them.” I think about myself when I read those words of Jesus and wonder if I ever give anything to anyone without some thought of what I might get in return. I have a long way to go to learn how to be a Christian. How about you?

-Pastor Travis

Mark 10: 17-31

Jesus flat out turns to the disciples and calls them children.  Now perhaps this is endearing in how he is speaking to them, but maybe it’s not.  I’m sure it is frustrating for them too, they have left what they had and are following Jesus, trying to live as he asks them, watching him embrace the people on the margins and break the earthly rules that they have always been taught to live by, and now he is telling them that it still not possible for them to enter into eternal life without even more emptying of all that they have.
How disconcerting to think that nothing they will do is enough for them to get into heaven. Probably the most famous line in this text comes from verse 27, Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”

The comfort of this verse is that God is with us too, that God is the way to eternal life, that our promise of joining the heavenly kingdom doesn’t come from the rules that we live by or the tasks that we complete but by the love and grace of God.  This text presents us with more things that we are asked to give up, the question I have to ask myself is not what am I going to lose by giving up things that I might be accustomed to or that bring me comfort, but what are others going to gain by using what I have for good?

-Pastor Carrie

LFS Refugee & Asylee Volunteer Program

Lutheran Family Services (LFS) Refugee and Asylee Services program is busy preparing to welcome more Afghani families to the Colorado Springs area and will need our help.   At LFS, there are a variety of ways you can volunteer to help refugees. Whether it be compiling welcome baskets or working closely with refugee families themselves, we offer an array of opportunities suited to your specific preferences.

The first step to volunteering with our refugee programs is to review the opportunities available in your area and attend an orientation training session. After you have attended an orientation training, you will need to complete and submit an application and a background check. These forms should not be submitted until after you have attended orientation.

A training session is available this Tuesday, October 5th.  You can learn more and sign up here.

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