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Articles By Author - Jonathan E. Scharf


Beloved, Be Loving

"Dearly Beloved…" That's the way I started out my last wedding sermon. I know it's a little bit of a throwback. We don't call too many people "beloved" anymore, but I hope you know what I mean. Today, I want to think about why that's a perfect way to greet one another…"beloved".

September 25, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Beloved, Be Loving

"Dearly Beloved…" That's the way I started out my last wedding sermon. I know it's a little bit of a throwback. We don't call too many people "beloved" anymore, but I hope you know what I mean. Today, I want to think about why that's a perfect way to greet one another…"beloved."

September 11, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Blessed to serve

You call yourself a Christian, right? You do realize that just by doing that, you are taking on a very specific job description. You are now "His witnesses". You are the "light of the world" and the "salt of the earth". You are "Christ's ambassadors", a "holy priesthood" you are to be "Declaring the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light". Do I have to go on? Realize it - you have a job, whether you like it or not, you are blessed to serve. There is no such thing as a part ...

August 28, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


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Archive By Author - Jonathan E. Scharf


Scharf: The good power of God

Last month, my congregation (Abiding Grace) celebrated our 10th anniversary. And there is plenty to celebrate. In 10 years, we've grown in people, in facilities, in opportunities to serve our community and spread the word around the world - in so many different ways. Things are rocking at Abiding Grace. So, looking at that, we must be doing something right, right?

April 11, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


From tears to triumph

I'll admit it. I am a big college basketball fan, which means I'm loving life right here in the middle of March Madness.

April 04, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Scharf: Death, on purpose

Today is Good Friday. The name seems like a misnomer when you consider that it marks the day of an execution - three in fact.

March 28, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


A powerful Easter journey

I look at the calendar and realize tomorrow is already Easter4Kids. Let me explain. That's an event Abiding Grace has been putting on for years now, a free event for all the 3 to 10 year olds in our community. It's a day to celebrate the real meaning of Easter. (You still have time to register your children at e4k.abidinggrace.com, but I digress). But here's the thing. It always takes place the day before Holy Week starts.

March 21, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Under his wings

It's one of those stories I've heard in so many different variations that I wonder about the real facts: A farmer comes upon the scene of a recent fire and finds a hen with wings spread, burnt to a crisp. He wonders why the hen didn't fly away and escape the fire until he gets a little closer and sees the little chicks are still alive and moving under the wings of their charred mother. They had been insulated from the fire by their mother's sacrifice.

March 14, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Scharf: God’s grace

"Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?"

March 07, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Scharf: I will sing to the Lord

"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for he has been good to me."

February 28, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Bowing down before the Lord

Have you ever thought about how silly worship seems? And I could go through so many of the goofy seeming things that we do in the ritual of worship, but I just want to cut to the chase. Think about how crazy it seems that we give offerings. We go out of our way to get to church and then just give up significant proportions of our income...for free. Why? Why on earth would we go to church and take our time and give our money?

February 21, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Kingdom Workers take spring break

When you think of college spring break, is volunteering for church work the first thing on your mind? For Ruth Wendland, Alison Wine, Lauren Maertz and Annette Scharf, apparently, it is. Skipping the more traditional spring break locations, these four college students from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn., are making their way to Covington looking to be put to work. Their goal: sharing the good news about Jesus. They were sponsored by a group called Kingdom Workers and by Abiding Grace Lutheran Church.

February 14, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | RELIGION


Jesus shows love after Valentine's Day

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. Did you remember? Did you do something big?

February 14, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Scharf: Today, God is working

Today is a big day. It might not seem like anything special, but let me let you in on a secret. Today, God is working. Our text is the story of one of Jesus' first sermons, in his hometown of Nazareth. Imagine the scene Luke 4 paints: The people were excited having heard rumors that he had made a pretty big splash on the rabbi scene in Jerusalem, and now he was back home to teach. He is given the honor of reading the Scripture in synagogue. He takes the seat of the teacher and opens his mouth.

February 07, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace notes: Knowledge of God is power

They say knowledge is power. That's true, isn't it? Knowledge is a powerful thing. It can prevent all sorts of problems and can provide all sorts of solutions, saving time, money...even your life. For instance, when you know not to use water on a grease fire, you avert disaster.

January 31, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Scharf: True unity in Christ alone

When I look around me at church, I'm often struck by one thing about the people I see. They are different. I know that might not sound like that much of a compliment - but I see it as an amazing gift from God. Truly. The faces in our congregation range from young to old, the voices from weak to strong, the billfolds from thick to thin, the vigor from faint to healthy, the skin tone from black to white and everything in between. We are different.

January 24, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


God keeps his resolutions

Well, we're three weeks in to 2013. Have you kept your resolutions so far? Or are you realizing again this year that the New Year's resolutions were tougher than they sounded on Jan. 1?

January 17, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Scharf: When were you saved?

"When were you saved?" Have you ever been asked that question? When were you saved? Maybe it's just because of my line of work, but I get that question all the time.

January 10, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


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