There was a special guest musician at Christ Lutheran in Zumbrota on Sunday, Oct. 4.

Wearing a silver cross with his brown and black Hawaiian style shirt (it looked like there were little strips of white waves in the pattern to me), Chris talked about having lots of coffee with a pastor neighbor in Anchorage, Alaska, really enjoying playing in prisons (no difference between him and a lot of those guys in there except he never got caught) and confessed to a professional use of rhinestones.

He also talked about his process for writing music. But that wasn’t until after the worship service during the study hour. However, it was the first of the videos for that day that I clicked into online after admiring the church building from the street. Before the music lesson, Pastor Wayne talked about mercy. The message was also about “election.” Not the election in November, but the doctrine of election, something I don’t believe I ever heard too much about. It’s about not being “chosen” because you descended from certain ancestors. It’s about being “children of the promise.” The promise that comes not from our own inherently less than stellar human behavior, but through the suffering of Christ’s crucifixion and the transformation of his resurrection.

Knowing a compassionate God is key to having hope and finding confidence, we were told.

“It’s meant to bring comfort.”

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Pastor Wayne also clarified that the wording of this scripture is emphatic about not condemning unbelievers. A Bible reading earlier in the service talked about those arriving at the eleventh hour receiving the same reward.

Back to our musician friend, Chris talked more about his sobriety and finding inspiration on the road — specifically the bumper sticker that reads “1 cross + 3 nails = 4given.” That had him pulling over to catch in writing the melody that popped into mind.

After prayers including for the recovery of the president, it was announced there would be a spaghetti dinner fundraiser to get a service animal for a local kindergartener. It was also announced that along with CDs available for the taking was a basket set out for the ministering musician to gather up a freewill offering.