St. John Lutheran Church Pittsburg Kansas

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Home Pastor's Message Pastor's Message 2019 Pastor's Message - June 2019

Pastor's Message - June 2019

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Fellow Ministers at St. John Lutheran Church,
Not long ago, I was listening to a TED Talk about a 1975 concert held in Cologne (Koln), Germany. Vera
Brandes, who was only 17, had convinced Keith Jarrett, a well-known jazz pianist, to perform in her hometown;
and she had convinced the Cologne Opera House to allow the performance to be held there. Just hours before
the performance, Brandes took Jarrett on to the stage for his rehearsal, and they found there the wrong piano.
it was a smaller baby grand rehearsal piano in poor condition. Keys were sticking; pedals did not work; and felt
was wom away making the upper registers sound tinny.
Now Keith Jarrett is famous for being a perfectionist. He is known to distribute lozenges and to lead his
audience in a group cough so he would not to be distracted during his performances. lt was a couple of hours
before the performance. 1,400 people were on their way to hear perfection. It was raining. There was not time
to bring in the better piano. Under such conditions, Jarrett said he that would not play, and he left.
Moments later, Brandes found Jarrett in the car ready to drive him away. She pied with him to stay and
perform. He saw her standing in the rain, considered her plight, and said to her, “Only for you.”
Jarrett returned and when he took the stage and began to play, it could only be described as “magic.” The
audience was "astounded as Jarrett gave what many judge to be his greatest performance. The album made
from that night, The Koln Concert, has come to be the best selling jazz piano album of all time. Keith Jarrett
took a ramshackle, undersized instrument and created something unforgettable.
This story reminds me of what God did for his redeemed on the Day of Pentecost. Here was a ramshackle
group of impoverished, unlearned folks, in a backwater of the Roman Empire, huddled together, uncertain of
what to do next. But then, the Spirit of God appeared in signs and wonders, with violent wind, tongues of fire.
and the powerful proclamation of God’s good news in varied languages. And they were never the same. And
the world was never the same, either.
The story also reminds me of what the Spirit of Christ continues to do among God’s people today. Throughout
the church, even in congregations that many may count as ramshackle, too small, and too insignificant, the
overwhelming grace of God is made known and God’s people continue to reflect the loveof their Father
through acts of care and compassion, encouragement and empowerment.
Let us pray that the Spirit would continue to fill us, and St. John congregation, and all of Christ’s church, that
we might live always as God’s hands and heart for the world.
Peace be with you,
Pastor Tom Wehrman

Fellow Ministers at St. John Lutheran Church,


Not long ago, I was listening to a TED Talk about a 1975 concert held in Cologne (Koln), Germany. Vera Brandes, who was only 17, had convinced Keith Jarrett, a well-known jazz pianist, to perform in her hometown; and she had convinced the Cologne Opera House to allow the performance to be held there. Just hours before the performance, Brandes took Jarrett on to the stage for his rehearsal, and they found there the wrong piano. It was a smaller baby grand rehearsal piano in poor condition. Keys were sticking; pedals did not work; and felt was wom away making the upper registers sound tinny.

Now Keith Jarrett is famous for being a perfectionist. He is known to distribute lozenges and to lead his audience in a group cough so he would not to be distracted during his performances. lt was a couple of hours before the performance. 1,400 people were on their way to hear perfection. It was raining. There was not time to bring in the better piano. Under such conditions, Jarrett said he that would not play, and he left.


Moments later, Brandes found Jarrett in the car ready to drive away. She pled with him to stay and perform. He saw her standing in the rain, considered her plight, and said to her, “Only for you.”
Jarrett returned and when he took the stage and began to play, it could only be described as “magic.” The audience was "astounded as Jarrett gave what many judge to be his greatest performance. The album made from that night, The Koln Concert, has come to be the best selling jazz piano album of all time. Keith Jarrett took a ramshackle, undersized instrument and created something unforgettable.

This story reminds me of what God did for his redeemed on the Day of Pentecost. Here was a ramshackle group of impoverished, unlearned folks, in a backwater of the Roman Empire, huddled together, uncertain of what to do next. But then, the Spirit of God appeared in signs and wonders, with violent wind, tongues of fire and the powerful proclamation of God’s good news in varied languages. And they were never the same. And the world was never the same, either.


The story also reminds me of what the Spirit of Christ continues to do among God’s people today. Throughout the church, even in congregations that many may count as ramshackle, too small, and too insignificant, the overwhelming grace of God is made known and God’s people continue to reflect the love of their Father through acts of care and compassion, encouragement and empowerment.

Let us pray that the Spirit would continue to fill us, and St. John congregation, and all of Christ’s church, that we might live always as God’s hands and heart for the world.


Peace be with you,


Pastor Tom Wehrman

Last Updated on Friday, 27 September 2019 21:42  

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