The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Torn cartilage in Corinth

It was the seventh Sunday of Easter, a beautiful day, and I was amid the ruins of ancient Corinth. My spirit was pouting, though, because just before embarking on my dream trip to Greece and Turkey, the cartilage in my right knee tore and pain limited my explorations of the ancient sites.

Sitting on a park bench to rest my knee, I found myself thinking about those early Christian Corinthians and how difficult it must have been for them to live as a minority in the culture of which they had so recently been a full part. I thought about their questions of Paul on how to be the church. I thought about their arguments and quarrels with each other and wondered if we have ever gotten beyond quarreling.

Then I heard singing coming from across the way. Picking my way between the fallen marble with my cane, I found Spanish pilgrims celebrating the mass in a ruined building. They were using one of the marble blocks as an altar. I sat down at a discreet distance where I could see and hear, but not intrude.

My heart soared when the bread and wine were lifted up because I knew that the words being said—“This is my body, this is my blood. Do this for the remembrance of me”—were the same words Paul gave the Corinthian church so they could celebrate the Lord’s Supper in a holy way. I knew, too, that in thousands of places around the world that Sunday, believers were lifting the bread and the wine and saying the same words. My spirit wasn’t able to pout any longer. I sang with them their song of thanksgiving: Gracias, Senor, gracias, Senor, gracias, Senor.

This week's front page features:

Learning to dream: Children in Laos ‘see’ a better life. (Photo at right.)

Our Reformation moment: Can we learn to speak and live the gospel in the 21st century?

After Hollywood: Actress finds ‘time to give back.’

Traditional hymns, modern times: Old favorites connect us to the past, move us toward the future.

Also: Memorial day, not holy day.

Also: Fifty years of Buechner.

Also: God's lesson of generosity.

Read these articles at our front page > > >

This week on our blog:

Andrea Pohlmann (right) asks Luther geeks to help her verify a quote attributed to Martin Luther.

Liz Hunter blogs about the best and worst places in the world for mothers and children to live.

Amber Leberman writes about finding faith in superhero movies.

Kathleen Kastilahn blogs about her new grandson and sharing the good gifts from God.

Dan Lehmann shares a letter to the editor we didn't have room for in the print version of The Lutheran.

Julie Sevig wishes blog-readers "Feliz Syttende Mai."

Check out our blog (and leave a comment) > > >

This week in our discussion forums:

Throughout May, readers are invited to join our discussion forum to share stories about how their faith has changed.

So far Patty, a 60-something, has written about Jesus' call to ask whether she's too comfortable in her faith, and Shirley has shared how she's examined her faith while serving in Baghdad.

Special guest Megan Ross (right) leads the discussion.

Join the discussion > > >

Tell us! Reversing greed.

How does your family stay grounded in this crazy consumer culture? For our November cover story, we’d like to know how you reverse greed in your home, especially if you have children. Send your idea (100-200 words), with your name, congregation, city and state, to Elizabeth Hunter or The Lutheran, 8765 W. Higgins Rd., Chicago, IL 60631, by Aug. 1.

Or respond on-line > > >

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December issue


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