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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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China: Where Jesus lives

For Easter my wife sent our grandchildren some gifts, including a mini beach ball made in China with "Jesus Lives" written on three panels. Our 7-year-old grandson blew up the ball and started reading, "Jesus Lives, Jesus Lives, Jesus Lives, China." With amazement he yelled, "Jesus lives in China, Momma!"

Jay Wenger
San Antonio, Texas

bob vojtkoDuring a children's sermon on ownership, with the intended point that all things belong to God, I asked the children to think of a favorite toy. I told them to think about giving that toy to someone else and then asked: "Would you do it?" All the little heads shook side to side in response. "Why?" I asked. "Because it's mine!" they answered. I asked whose it was before it was theirs: "Where did it come from?" Finally, one girl raised her hand and, with a questioning tone, said, "China?"

Kurt Hansen
Freeport, Ill.

Scrambled message

Colored eggs were the props for the children's sermon on Easter at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport, Iowa. Peter Marty, pastor, broke one that wasn't hardboiled into a dish. "What happened?" he asked. "You didn't cook it," the children answered. "I thought I did," he said. "You didn't cook it long enough," they said. He broke another with the same results and appeared surprised. "You didn't cook it long enough," the children cried. Then, hoping to lead the discussion to the empty tomb, he broke a third egg that was empty. "What does this mean?" he asked. A little boy cried out, "You cooked it too long."


Terry L. Daly
Warren, Mich.

"This is going to be tougher than I thought."
And God said ... Amen!

John Heins was especially emphatic as he closed his Easter Sunday sermon on a gray, wet morning. He declared that earthquakes, tornadoes and similar phenomena weren't acts of God, but that the acts of God are seen in the expressions of love and caring that follow such an event. We all flinched as God immediately added a stamp of approval with a bolt of lightning outside the church. When the wide-eyed little boy in front of me asked his dad, "Was that God?" his father whispered back, "I think so."

Mike Metcalf
Roscoe, Ill.

What else do you notice?

After low weekly attendance for several years and big crowds on holidays, one Easter I asked during the children's sermon: "What's different about church today?" They answered: more flowers and new banners. Then a boy noticed something else and said loudly into the microphone: "There are people here."


Rachel Guldin
Jonestown, Pa.

Praying through the flu

My 6-year-old son, Garrett, got the stomach flu and kept asking me to help him. When I asked how, he asked me to "pray to God and Jesus" to make him better. So I did — and about five minutes later he got sick again. He said, "I thought you prayed for me!" When I said I did, he replied: "You didn't do it right!"

Robin Goodman
Sycamore, Ohio



Our secretary at Christ Lutheran Church, Wyoming, Mich., was just trying to protect us when she typed the following in the bulletin: "Due to seasonal flu/H1N1 ... The cookie/coffee crew will begin to hand out the cookies with tongues to avoid the cookies being handled."

Pam Mueller,
Grand Rapids, Mich.

What we heard on winter vacation

While visiting a church in Florida, we sat in front of grandparents with five grandchildren. After returning to our pew after communion, we heard the oldest one say, "I took the wine. And you know, it wasn't half bad!"

Betty House
Fairfield Glade, Tenn.


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November issue

NOVEMBER issue:

The ELCA's aging clergy wave

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