Peace of God

Today’s Message is given by  Rev. Karl Otto

Prayer of the Day

O God, judge eternal, you love justice and hate oppression, and you call us to share your zeal for truth. Give us courage to take our stand with all victims of bloodshed and greed, and, following your servants and prophets, to look to the pioneer and
perfecter of our faith, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen!


Luke 12:49-56

‘I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather
division! From now on, five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’ He also said to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, “It is going to rain”; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, “There will be scorching heat”; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? Amen!



  By Dave Smith

            The sun bleeds down the western sky, trails rayed yellow-orange and touches of periwinkle across the horizon.  Despite the dying day, heat beats with my pulse as sweat trickles my chest and wets my shirt.  Greyish white clouds puff above the colors and here and there shadow the moments.  A hint of wind’s breath in those shade places mingles with my damp T and creates an eerie cool against the humidity.  “A 60% chance of showers will bring welcome relief from the unusually warm temperatures.”  Weathermen must arbitrarily pick a number when they see grey clouds bumping together.  A sprinkle would be nice on this walk of mine, this mile of miniscule delight to erase the temptations not ignored for yet another day that included a Dew and a snack.  Speaking of…. 🙂

I plop onto the front stoop, perspire a wave to Gordon across the way, and dump the remains of the water bottle over my head.  This day included mowing a business yard, work on the destruction/rebuild of kitchen cabinets, and vacuuming resulting dust.  And Dew.  And snack.  My legs, especially these modern era knees, ache, tired from climb and push, yank and crank, squat and stretch, and the general burden of my not so svelte frame.  I tug shirttails from beneath me, a taut, sticky reminder of the still in the 80’s summer evening settling over the neighborhood.  “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.”  Great, another scorcher tomorrow.  But I cannot complain, after all, this is August in Wisconsin and at the very least, we do not have those southern insects I met in trips to Georgia years ago.  I glance beyond the gully trees to watch the sky change, to see and feel it mellow into oncoming dusk, into a deeper dark that brings fireflies, cricket chirrups, and scurries of chipmunks darting about the yard for before-bed eats.  And maybe a Dew, who knew?  I do enjoy their stuffed-with-seeds-from-the-bird-feeder fat cheeks.  Even on the worst of days, sunset brings a bit of peace.

I stretch my bowed and scarred legs poking out of shorts.  Rubbing those knees doesn’t help much, the miles of years too worn in.  I laugh a little, thinking of one of my wives, forget which, telling me I should not have been so involved in sports or I should have taken better care of myself.  Should have watched my weight better.  Yea, I guess, but looking back and wistful thinking tends to wrestle away good memories and even worse, focuses thoughts on aches instead of sunsets.  Do it all over – change anything?  Wouldn’t be where I am today by changing yesterday.  Wouldn’t be so sure of my tomorrow without the trial/error, success/failure of my life.  I know many of you readers sit deeper into your sunsets than I.  I, here on the stoop, sense the reds, yellow-orange, and periwinkle of your days that include some greyish-white clouds. And in heart I truly know we share the same tomorrow regardless of our yesterdays and the weariness of a today.

A bright yellow finch steals into my reverie, lands on the rail next to me.  It looks, and black-eyed stares.  A sparrow twitters and, out back, a woodpecker hammers his usual beats at the top of the old poplar or pine, depending on its mood.  I think of showering, but not just now, not in this framed photo that captures this second, these seconds in my sunset years.  To be so blessed with God’s touch through nature, in colors, in His settle at day’s end….this peace pulses with my heart now.  Another hint of breeze seeps across the brown grass as that Holy Spirit flame disappears below the tree line.  A poet of old, perhaps Tennyson or Yeats, spoke of his heart “leaping” at the sight of such beauty.  I prefer the slow, easy rhythms of a bluesy saxophone playing “Stranger on the Shore” to the leaping idea.  I am not sure which Biblical character spoke of being a ‘’stranger in a strange land”, but for me I have comfort in being no stranger to my savior and happy in in His hands in my sunset hours.

Holy Spirit Flame

7-10-16 Message

May God surround you with compassion, hope and love while giving you strength in courage and healing.

Prayer of the day:

O Lord God, your mercy delights us, and the world longs for your loving care. Hear the cries of everyone in need, and turn our hearts to love our neighbors with the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen!


Luke 10:25-37

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’ But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’ Amen!



Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Women

Visiting with us today is a representative from the Family Promise Organization, David Tennyck, J.D.  Executive Director. Family Promise of Western Waukesha County is a community response to homeless families with children. Families facing a housing crisis are provided with overnight shelter, meals and support services with the goal of achieving permanent housing and sustainable independence. We here at Vernon-ELCA would like to be able to be a Support Congregation. Support Congregations are partnered with Host Congregations and assist a host by providing volunteers, food and other supplies for area homeless families during their hosting weeks. The thirteen Host Congregations are located in Hartland, Dousman, Delafield, Oconomowoc, Genesee, Pewaukee and Eagle.

Click HERE to read about this mission.

Prayer of the Day:

O God, throughout the ages you judge your people with mercy, and you inspire us to speak your truth. By your Spirit, anoint us for lives of faith and service, and bring all people into your forgiveness, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


Gospel & Message:


Luke 7:36 – 8:3

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabas-ter jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.’ Jesus spoke up and said to him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ ‘Teacher,’ he replied, ‘speak.’ ‘A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon an-swered, ‘I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the greater debt.’ And Jesus* said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’ Then turning towards the woman, he said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ And he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’
Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magda-lene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.

Jesus Mercy