Pastor Hagen's Message to the Congregation, 2/2/2021


A couple of days ago I was on the phone with my brother who lives in California.  He called to check up on my family and to tease me a little with the warmth of California winters.  He said he was standing in his back yard in a very light jacket starting his BBQ grill.  They were having burgers and hotdogs for dinner.  The evening before we had received 3" of new snow so he was having fun gloating a bit. 

During the call I had an opportunity to talk to my sister-in-law.  She mentioned she was going to be getting the vaccine this week, even though she does not meet the criteria yet.  She mentioned her supervisor at work pushed really hard for her to get the vaccine and eventually was successful.  Naturally, she was thankful but also puzzled as to why her boss would do this.  So she asked.  The answer she received humbled her, and me.

It seems Covid had become very personal to her supervisor.  She had lost both her parents, her neighbor and a friend to the pandemic and she refused to have anyone else die.  That is why she pushed to get my sister-in-law vaccinated.  Wow.

What crossed my mind on hearing this, and what remains unanswered even now, is how could these much loved individuals suffer so horribly with the same disease that we had, yet we had it so much milder?  Just this morning I heard the story of a 50 year old mother whose lungs had turned "brittle" due to Covid.  She died.  Yet my wife, my son, my grandson and I never had congestion of any kind.  What kind of  a disease is this?  Why are some so severely affected while other, myself included, are spared? 

I have often counseled grieving families saying the hardest question to answer is, "Why".  I'll probably never know.  It makes me wonder if we are dealing with two different diseases or if we were falsely diagnosed.  But no.  What I do know, and what I have consistently told others in their time of questioning, is it is not God's will that some should suffer while others not.

Are we blessed?  Absolutely.  Did prayers help?  Unquestionably.  Did God save us and take that young mother or the parents of the compassionate woman in California?  Absolutely not.  These are the things of life.  They are crazy, unpredictable, unanswerable and tragic.  Throughout, God was with us.  Not because our symptoms were mild but because God promises that nothing will separate us from God's love. 

So, we are now no longer contagious and are able to resume our normal activities.  My family thanks everyone for your prayers.  Please remember to continue to pray for all front line workers and all who suffer from the worst of Covid.  And please remember that this disease is real.  It is out there.  Mask up, social distance, wash your hands frequently, and know that God is with you.





Live Victoriously,


Pastor Jim Hagen




P.S.    Thank you for keeping Elim in your prayers and continuing to financially support Elim's ministry.  Please consider joining others who have found the blessing of using electronic giving.  If it were not safe and convenient, I personally would not be using it.  If you would like to try electronic giving you can click HERE where you can give a one time or repeating donation, or you can scan the QR code. 


God bless you this week and remember, God is with us!


Pastor Hagen's Messages

  • YouTube

February 14, 2021
There should be no doubt now. Pastor Hagen speaks on the Transfiguration of Jesus.

  • YouTube

February 21, 2021 Pastor Hagen Speaks on Mark 1:9-15.  Repent!

  • YouTube

Sunday, February 7, 2021  Pastor Hagen speaks on Mark 129-39, "Who Is Jesus, for You?"


Elim Lutheran Church is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).


6101 Cody Street

Duluth, MN  55807



© 2019.  Proudly created with