In mid-October when I was driving along through the river valley, I saw a sign for a church a little too late to make the turn. I think it was just a short distance past the white wooden saloon building with the cowboy silhouettes where I found a place to turn around and go back to Redeemer Lutheran Church north of Hudson, Wis.

On the worship video for Oct. 25, 2020, Pastor Mike mentioned having been gone for a month recovering from surgery. He thanked people for sending cards after he thanked those helping with the service on this Reformation Sunday, including the parking lot attendants. With a suggestion to folks with their engines running to crack the windows he said, “It’s all good.”

Pastor mentioned a questionnaire about how best to conduct services in the winter. Since “the numbers are getting crazy” the thought is to go back to recorded services only as the pandemic continues its course, but leadership is looking for more input.

Dressed up in a shirt as red as the exit sign with colorful designs on his black tie that I couldn’t quite make out, pastor said the reformation is still continuing and reminded people to “honk for amen.”

Liturgy explained the Old Testament covenant was about being freed from slavery, but that the people in their freedom “dedicate their lives to false gods and blamed others.”

Newsletter signup for email alerts

We were told it’s time to look at the weaknesses and shortcoming of our own narratives (note to self). It’s important to find the truth in our personal and global situations.

During Martin Luther’s time, religion was generally thought of as either an individual “ladder” to heaven or a “power play.” The reformation shifted emphasis away from antiquated laws to the life and death of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Mike explained that the reformation doesn’t declare the goodness of the church, which from time to time gets it wrong, but of God, who always gets it right. Those who have freely received a “king size portion” of truth, love and freedom are all the more equipped to help others in response — thereby furthering the church’s continued re-formation.

Prayers included safety for educators and public servants, as well as peace within and beyond our nations and homes.