from the pastor's desk

Hello Our Savior’s! It truly is my great pleasure and honor to be called here as your new Senior Pastor. This being my first entry into the Messenger, I thought I would begin by sharing a little (more) about myself by way of an icebreaker game we played in Confirmation last week. It is called Two Truths and a Lie. I will make three statements about myself then you need to figure out which two are true and which is a lie. The answers can be found in the footnotes (no peeking).

1. I won a first-place trophy in a swimming competition.

2. I once ate the eyeball of a fish.

3. I once met my drumming hero, Neil Peart after a concert.


Hopefully you got a bit of a laugh out of that. On to more serious things.


There are many reasons I have become a pastor. Perhaps I will share some of those reasons as time passes but, for this article, I want to share my love of preaching. Martin Luther once wrote, “Preaching Christ means to feed the soul, make it righteous, set it free, and save it”. I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. If you ever walk away from my preaching feeling guilty or not fed, please let me know as that is never my intention. Still, we must call a thing what it is. I will call out sin and brokenness, but only as a way to lift up the freedom and joy we get through the gifts of faith in Christ.


One of my guiding scriptures in preaching is Ephesians 2:8-9. “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast.” Faith/belief is not something we create or do on our own. These are gifts of God. My preaching quite often attempts to convey this truth because, to be honest, it is one of the most difficult concepts for people to latch onto. It seems that no matter how hard I try, how often I say it, or bring up this text from Ephesians, people miss this point. Why are we so convinced that we somehow earn salvation? We’re always complementing or condemning people on “their” faith as if they have anything to do with creating or eschewing faith. Listen, without God there is no faith. Furthermore, we cannot say what faith looks like from person to person. We have not cornered the market on faith. Every bit of faith comes only  from God by grace. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is NOT of your own doing.” I know this is a difficult concept to grasp; it still trips me up all the time. Still, it is worth the time and effort to try to grasp its meaning for the key to loving God and your neighbor rests in this truth.


I also love to preach because I love the process. This is why I put several hours into my sermons. I love to read the assigned texts. I find joy in listening to people’s reactions to scripture. I am challenged to look at our world today and find a way to connect scripture to current life events and experiences. And, most importantly, I love the deep soul searching and prayer I must employ to find Christ in all scripture. You see, it’s easy to say that something you read in scripture is biblical. But it’s much more challenging to say it is Christ-like. But this is what we do as Lutherans. We look for and find Christ within the scriptures. If my interpretation hurts, judges, separates, or is otherwise damaging to God and/or my neighbor…well it is time for me to reexamine my interpretation. With that, let me repeat what I wrote earlier. If you ever feel hurt, judged, separate, or otherwise damaged by my preaching, I want to know about it. It is never my intention to do that. Hopefully, prayerfully, I strive only to feed the soul with my preaching. This is why the good news always gets the last word. You are enough, you are loved, you are saved, and you are never alone because of the love of God found in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


-Pr. Luke


1. I did win a trophy and my mom still has it (in case you need proof).

2. All first timers during Mission Jamaica are encouraged to eat the eyeball during a fish dinner. I accepted the challenge. It sort of “pops” when you bite into it.

3. Though I love Neil Peart, my drumming hero is Glenn Kotche. I haven’t met either of them.