Friday, December 26, 2008

Goof King Wenceslas Looked Out On the Feast of Stephen


St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr
26 December


All that we know about Stephen the martyr is found in chapters 6 and 7 of the Book of Acts.

The early Christian congregations, like the Jewish synagogues, had a program of assistance for needy widows, and some of the Greek-speaking Jews in the Jerusalem congregation complained that their widows were being neglected. The apostles replied: "We cannot both preach and administer financial matters. Choose seven men from among yourselves, respected, Spirit-filled, and of sound judgement, and let them be in charge of the accounts, and we will devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word." The people accordingly chose seven men, including Stephen, and the apostles laid their hands on them. They are traditionally considered to be the first deacons, although the Scriptures do not use the word to describe them. (The Scriptures do refer to officials called deacons in the local congregations, without being very specific about their duties; and a century or more later, we find the organized charities of each local congregation in the hands of its deacons.)

Stephen was an eloquent and fiery speaker, and a provocative one. His blunt declarations that the Temple service was no longer the means by which penitent sinners should seek reconciliation with God enraged the Temple leaders, who caused him to be stoned to death. As he died, he said, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." One of those who saw the stoning and approved of it was Saul (or Paul) of Tarsus, who took an active part in the general persecution of Christians that followed the death of Stephen, but who was later led to become a Christian himself.

We remember Stephen on December 26, the day after Christmas. Hence the song

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen


describes an action of the king on the day after Christmas Day. The tune used with this song is older than the words and was previously used with a hymn often sung on the feasts of Stephen and other martyrs. It begins:
Christian friends, your voices raise.
Wake the day with gladness.
God himself to joy and praise
turns our human sadness:
Joy that martyrs won their crown,
opened heaven's bright portal,
when they laid the mortal down
for the life immortal.


Prayer

We give thee thanks, O Lord of glory, for the example of the first martyr Stephen, who looked up to heaven and prayed for his persecutors to thy Son Jesus Christ, who standeth at thy right hand: where he liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Excerpts from a Christmas Sermon by Martin Luther


. ...behold how very ordinary and common things are to us that transpire on earth, and yet how high they are regarded in heaven. On earth it occurs in this wise: Here is a poor young woman, Mary of Nazareth, not highly esteemed, but of the humblest citizens of the village. No one is conscious of the great wonder she bears, she is silent, keeps her own counsel, and regards herself as the lowliest in the town. She starts out with her husband Joseph; very likely they had no servant, and he had to do the work of master and servant, and she that of mistress and maid, They were therefore obliged to leave their home unoccupied, or commend it to the care of others.

Now they evidently owned an ass, upon which Mary rode, although the Gospel does not mention it, and it is possible that she went on foot with Joseph. Imagine how she was despised at the inns and stopping places on the way, although worthy to ride in state in a chariot of gold.

There were, no doubt, many wives and daughters of prominent men at that time, who lived in fine apartments and great splendor, while the mother of God takes a journey in mid-winter under most trying circumstances. What distinctions there are in the world! It was more than a day's journey from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in the land of Judea. They had to journey either by or through Jerusalem, for Bethlehem is south of Jerusalem while Nazareth is north.

The Evangelist shows how, when they arrived at Bethlehem, they were the most insignificant and despised, so that they had to make way for others until they were obliged to take refuge in a stable, to share with the cattle, lodging, table, bedchamber and bed, while many a wicked man sat at the head in the hotels and was honored as lord. No one noticed or was conscious of what God was doing in that stable. He lets the large houses and costly apartments remain empty, lets their inhabitants eat, drink and be merry; but this comfort and treasure are hidden from them. 0 what a dark night this was for Bethlehem, that was not conscious of that glorious light! See how God shows that he utterly disregards what the world is, has or desires; and furthermore, that the world shows how little it knows or notices what God is, has and does.

See, this is the first picture with which Christ puts the world to shame and exposes all it does and knows. It shows that the world's greatest wisdom is foolishness, her best actions are wrong and her greatest treasures are misfortunes.

"Guinea pigs roasting on an open fire. Jack frost nipping at your nose...."


How to get into the holiday spirit.

From a news story:
"Monday, officials in Peru showed off some guinea pig dishes, including the rodents fried, roasted and broiled. They also had a live pig dressed as Santa Claus."
(Guinea pigs, called "cuy" are eaten in Peru.)

Guinea Pig. It's the other white meat.

Yum,yum. Can't wait to serve it on my Christmas table.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Army Still Looks Ugly in 34-0 Loss to Navy


Army debuted camouflage helmets, pants and uniform numbers, and they played as bad as they looked. Somebody must have thought it was a nifty look, but as a uniform purist I thought it looked plain old ugly.

GO NAVY!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Jolly Old St. Nicholas



December 6th is the date many traditionally celebrate St. Nicholas, the man who would eventually become known as Santa Claus. What many do not know is that St. Nicholas was a real man who deserves to be more widely known. (Or at least, known as more than just a fat guy in a red suit who sneaks into your house on Christmas Eve.)

Nicholas was born in a Greek village on the coast of what is now known as Turkey. His parents, who were very wealthy, died in an epidemic and left a sizable inheritance to their son. Being a devout follower of Jesus, Nicholas used his money to help the poor, sick, and needy.

He was made bishop of Myra under unusual circumstances, seeing as how he was a layman, but served the people admirably. Under Emperor Diocletian, Nicholas was imprisoned along with many other believers. This gave him a special concern for those innocent of accused crimes. One story, which seems to have historical evidence, tells of him grabbing the executioner’s ax before it could behead an innocent man.

One of the my favorite stories of St. Nicholas was his involvement in the Council of Nicea (from which we get the Nicene Creed). Though some say it is merely a legend, it is said that in a fit of rage over Arias’ heresy, St. Nicholas actually punched the other man! He is also said to have destroyed a temple of Artemis upon returning to Myra and finding the city given over to idolatry.

Why should we care about Nicholas? First, because he has been associated with Advent for years and it gives us a great opportunity to thank God for his saints. Second, because he is the perfect antidote to Santa Claus. It has been said that Santa Claus takes away from the babe in a manger, but Nicholas points us to him. Finally, we should care about St. Nicholas because his life teaches us about compassion and charity, whereas many other Christmas celebrations teach only greed and selfishness.

For many years I have been telling my kids and parishoners about St. Nicholas and his life of service to Christ and his people. Sure, he doesn’t have a sled with flying reindeer and he can’t come down your chimney, but he can point us to Jesus, and that’s what Advent is all about.

Here's a song (sung to Angels from the Realms of Glory) that you can use to help celebrate:

Good Saint Nicholas of Myra,
deeds and legends tell his fame.
Saintly bishop, friend of children
We poor sinners sing the name:

Bless’d Nicholas, Bless’d Nicholas
He loved all in Jesus' name

Miracles and signs and wonders,
he performed to praise the Lord.
For a poor and weary people
source of care and joy outpoured:

REFRAIN

Sailors, nations, people thank him
for the message that he brought.
Young and old now hail the memory
Of the lessons that he taught:

REFRAIN

May his ways of true devotion
guide us on our earthly way.
Challenge us to be more like him
as Christ's gospel we obey:

REFRAIN

Father, Son and Holy Spirit
bind us in community,
so that we with holy Nicholas
might eternal glory see:

REFRAIN

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Thought (from Augustine) for Advent

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit,
that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit,
to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit,
that I always may be holy.

Amen.
St. Augustine

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Prayer


O God of all Creation: You have cared for the earth, and have filled it with your riches. Abundance flows in your steppes, through the pastures and wilderness. You provide for our land, softening it with showers, bathing it in light, and blessing it with growth.

The hills sing with joy; the meadows are covered with flocks; the fields deck themselves with wheat; and together they glorify your name!

On this occasion of our Thanksgiving, we as a nation take rest from our labors to consider your many blessings. We thank you for our freedoms, and for the opportunity to contribute our skills, our attributes and our values toward the good of society.

We thank you for the mixture of our cultures, blending us into one people under God. Help us to be a light unto other nations, and to further the cause of freedom and justice all over the world.

We remember those who are less fortunate than we. We lift up in prayer the victims of poverty and racism, and all those who suffer from forms of political and economic oppression. Let the word that goes forth from our mouths speak of your peace, and let us proclaim our hope in Christ as Savior of all humankind.

We pray that you will bless all those who gather here, as we have come to experience your presence among us. Give us your guidance, O God, and empower us for your work. For we claim nothing for ourselves, but return all honor and glory unto you, and offer our thanks and praise. Amen.

From "Prayers for God's People"
Thomas P. Roberts, editor

A Bit More Serious

Here is a thoughtful poem with which I will close out my Thanksgiving sermon. It always gives me pause and reminds me to count all my blessings.


I asked for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.

I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life to enjoy all things.

I got nothing I asked for,
But everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

-Unknown Confederate Soldier

Thanksgiving Table Manners

Here's a goofy video from the 50s on table manners. I think I saw this once in grade school. (Although all those black and white films blend into a blur.)

I think the Pilgrims had good table manners.

Enjoy (with a large cup of coffee).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving


It was a wonderful experience for me to teach a class at Redeemer (following our Reformation class) about the Reformation moving to North America. Specifically, we looked at the colony of Jamestown (Church of England) and Plymouth (Pilgrims, who were Calvinist separatists).

What made researching and presenting enjoyable for me was the opportunity to delve into the lives of extraordinary men and women (English and Indians) who had such a profound and lasting effect on this country. It was amazing to read about people like William Bradford who endured so much to live out their faith. In researching these people they came alive and I discovered (again) that the reality is much more profound than the myth.

Some suggested reading:
Mayflower, by Nathaniel Philbrick
A Land as God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America, by James Horn

An excerpt from Mayflower:

"For sixty-five days the Mayflower had blundered her way through storms and headwinds, her bottom a shaggy pelt of seaweed and barnacles, her leaky decks spewing salt water onto her passenger's devoted heads. There were 102 of them - 104 if you counted the two dogs: a spaniel, and a giant, slobbery mastiff."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Trivial trivia



The Township of Melanchthon, in Dufferin County, Ontario, Canada, is adjacent to the Township of East Luther.


Betcha didn't know that!


(I found it while studying for my class tonight on the Reformers. Melanchthon was a friend of Luther.)


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Words of Light

"Keep yourself from continually converting your occupations into disturbances and anxieties of spirit. Even if you are being tossed around on the waves and blown about by the winds of many perplexities, look up constantly and say to our Lord: 'O God, it is for you that I row and for you I sail; you are my guide and my helmsman!' "

"Calm yourself. Don't pay any attention to these vain and useless fears. Fill the emptiness of your heart with an ardent love for Jesus. Humble yourself always beneath the powerful hand of God, always accepting the tribulations that he sends us with serenity of spirit and humility of heart, so that when he comes to visit us he will exalt us by giving us his grace. Cast all your cares onto him, because he cares for us more than a mother cares for her baby."

Excerpted from Words of Light: Inspiration from the Letters of Padre Pio

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm Living a Dream!

I wouldn't do nothing else 'sides being a pastor, but sometimes it's like herding these critters.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mary, Mother of our Lord

Almighty God, you chose the virgin Mary to be the mother of your only Son. Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her in the glory of your eternal kingdom; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Lutheran Book of Worship)

Today (August 15) is the day that the universal church celebrates one of the greatest saints of the church. Mary, the mother of Jesus is often overlooked by Protestants, but here are a few words of wisdom regarding her from Martin Luther:

[Mary is the] highest woman and the noblest gem in Christianity after Christ . . . She is nobility, wisdom, and holiness personified. We can never honor her enough. Still honor and praise must be given to her in such a way as to injure neither Christ nor the Scriptures. (Sermon, Christmas, 1531).

One should honor Mary as she herself wished and as she expressed it in the Magnificat. She praised God for his deeds. How then can we praise her? The true honor of Mary is the honor of God, the praise of God's grace . . . Mary is nothing for the sake of herself, but for the sake of Christ . . . Mary does not wish that we come to her, but through her to God. (Explanation of the Magnificat, 1521).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rapture Ready! Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture




I came across this fascinating article, which I will simply pass on to you:


Before many Christians are ready for the rapture, they apparently have a lot of baggage to unpack. Lucky for them, Daniel Radosh has taken it upon himself to shake out all their dirty laundry.


In his recently published book, Rapture Ready! Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture, Radosh bravely ventures into Christian music festivals, Holy Land theme park, Christian comedy clubs, and even Christian pro-wrestling matches to dig out the hairy secrets buried in the kitschy recesses of pop evangelicalism. And he lives to tell about it. And tell about it he does, spilling the embarrassing facts of this $7 billion industry.


But why? In an interview with Christianity Today, Radosh, a humanistic Jew, explains: “Honestly, I did it because a lot of it is quite funny.” But Radosh, who is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker and a contributing editor at The Week magazine, was not on a mission to mock or shock. He goes on to explain: “We think about pop culture as something ephemeral and superficial, and I wanted to try to understand how that could be combined with something like faith, which is eternal and deep.”


To read the rest, please see:

http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/?p=1145

Friday, August 1, 2008

Blogging is Hard Work

Most blogs I've seen suffer from a lack of entries. They start out strong then begin to waver and finally sputter out.

Hmmm.....last entry was in June. A pattern here? I hope not, since the world needs the words of wisdom I have to impart. (That's a joke, folks. :-) )

Anyway, here's to you and a good rest of the summer. Let me know where you have travelled this summer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ten for Our Time

Ted Turner, millionaire founder of CNN and TBS, declared in 1999 that the Ten Commandments were obsolete, "We’re living with outdated rules. The rules we’re living under are the Ten Commandments, and I bet nobody here even pays much attention to them because they’re too old. When Moses went up on the mountain, there were no nuclear weapons, there was no poverty. Today, the Ten Commandments wouldn’t go over. Nobody around likes to be commanded. Commandments are out!"

Of course, Turner was wrong when he declared that the Ten Commandments are outdated. They are as relevant and important as when Moses gave them to the Israelites. He was right, however, when he says that nobody likes to be commanded. God’s people have been breaking the commandments for as long as they have been around! Even sadder still is that modern society and culture often mocks God’s Commandments. We live in a time when right is classified as wrong and wrong as right. As Isaiah rightly declared so many years ago: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…( 5:20)” As one jokester put it concerning the Ten Commandments in courthouses and legislatures: You cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery," and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians...It creates a hostile work environment!


It’s not only Ted Turner who thinks the commandments are obsolete. Many believe that there are no "moral absolutes" and hold to a philosophy of "moral relativism." How many times have we heard statements like these: "What’s right for you may not be right for me. If it feels good do it. Anything goes. Nothing is right or wrong, there are just different opinions?" All of this is the result of a growing sense that there is no absolute truth. A recent poll found that 67% of Americans do not believe in moral absolutes. Even 62% of professing Christians said that there was no absolute standard of right and wrong. Contrast this attitude with that of James Madison, the 4th President of the United States, who said this, "We stake the future of this country on our ability to govern ourselves under the principles of the Ten Commandments."

God intended the commandments not to oppress us, but to enable us to live at peace and harmony with each other. Rather than constricting life and freedom, the commandments add joy to our lives! A life without boundaries is simply chaotic. Proper boundaries (God's commands) add harmony, peace, and security to our lives as we live in proper relationship to God and each other. What would this world be like without theft, gossip, murder, and people lived lives of integrity with each other and their Creator? Think about it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Next Anze Kopitar


My son Dylan, a Kings and Kopitar fan, scores against his little sister Lilly.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ascension Day

"This ascension of Jesus Christ is good news for us as Christians,and through us, for our world. It means that God loves, values, holds, and will transform our fragile and broken humanity in Christ. It means that, at the Ascension, Jesus took all of human life, which he cared for so deeply, and brought it "into the heavenly places," into the very heart of God. This includes the suffering refugee, the abused child or spouse, the victim of war or terror, the lonely one in the nursing home, the one who struggles with depression or a lost sense of worth and value, those who are sick, all who are in difficult transitions in life." -- John S. McClure

Almighty God, your blessed Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things. Mercifully give us faith to trust that, as he promised, he abides with us on earth to the end of time, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

May Day


National Day of Prayer


From the American Bible Society


Heavenly Father, look down upon us on this National Day of prayer and hear our gratitude for all our blessings. Teach us to pray as You did Your Son, Jesus Christ, so that we might draw ever closer to Your glory. Purify our hearts, O Lord, and make them a clean dwelling for Your presence. May our prayers be acceptable to You and help us to do Your will more perfectly. These things we ask in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen


Monday, April 21, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Day Late

Although very much worth remembering



APRIL 19, 1775


By the rude bridge that arched the flood,



Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;



Here once the embattled farmers stood;



And fired the shot heard round the world.






Monday, April 14, 2008

Death and Taxes

"There is always death and taxes; however, death doesn't get worse every year." ~Author Unknown

For an interesting look at the spending of your federal dollars, see the "Death and Taxes" poster at http://www.thebudgetgraph.com/

A couple other pithy tax quotes to help you get in the tax prepartion mood:

"If you make any money, the government shoves you in the creek once a year with it in your pockets, and all that don't get wet you can keep." ~Will Rogers

"Taxation with representation ain't so hot either." ~Gerald Barzan

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Screwtape Letters: Hell as Bureacracy

In our adult class on Sunday mornings we are currently reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I find myself saying over and over, "this is a wonderful quote." Lewis has a profound understanding of human nature and the spiritual struggle that goes on in our lives, and so many of his thoughts ring true. I don't have space to quote everything, so here is a priceless one (if not the best): Hell is a bureaucracy in which "everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment."

Sounds a lot like current life, eh?

Just read the book.

Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Bonhoeffer is one of my personal heroes of the faith, and his book, The Cost of Discipleship had a profound impact on me in college. His writings were influential in my calling to go to seminary.

A few thoughts from this profound work:

“Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate….Costly grace is…the call of Jesus Christ…Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: “ye were bought at a price, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us.”

He is commemorated on this day (April 9th) of his martyrdom.

O God our Father, the source of strength to all your saints, who brought your servant Dietrich Bonhoeffer through imprisonment and death to the joys of life eternal: Grant that we, being encouraged by their examples, may hold fast the faith that we profess, and that we may seek to know, and acccording to our knowledge to do, your will, even unto death; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

What follows comes courtesy of James Kiefer's Christian Biographies (http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/)

Bonhoeffer was born in 1906, son of a professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Berlin. He was an outstanding student, and at the age of 25 became a lecturer in systematic theology at the same University. When Hitler came to power in 1933, Bonhoeffer became a leading spokesman for the Confessing Church, the center of Protestant resistance to the Nazis. He organized and for a time led the underground seminary of the Confessing Church. His book Life Together describes the life of the Christian community in that seminary, and his book The Cost Of Discipleship attacks what he calls "cheap grace," meaning grace used as an excuse for moral laxity. Bonhoeffer had been taught not to "resist the powers that be," but he came to believe that to do so was sometimes the right choice. In 1939 his brother-in-law introduced him to a group planning the overthrow of Hitler, and he made significant contributions to their work. (He was at this time an employee of the Military Intelligence Department.) He was arrested in April 1943 and imprisoned in Berlin. After the failure of the attempt on Hitler's life in April 1944, he was sent first to Buchenwald and then to Schoenberg Prison. His life was spared, because he had a relative who stood high in the government; but then this relative was himself implicated in anti-Nazi plots. On Sunday 8 April 1945, he had just finished conducting a service of worship at Schoenberg, when two soldiers came in, saying, "Prisoner Bonhoeffer, make ready and come with us," the standard summons to a condemned prisoner. As he left, he said to another prisoner, "This is the end -- but for me, the beginning -- of life." He was hanged the next day, less than a week before the Allies reached the camp.

Monday, April 7, 2008

World Health Day

Happy World Health Day to you all. Everyone be healthy out there, o.k.?

Eat a banana.

Friday, April 4, 2008

For Katy. She is a true believer.

This is dedicated to my beautiful and supportive wife.

"Shun the Non-Believer! Shunnnnnn!"


Abide with Me

I think every person’s prayer life is different, but I have often felt closer to God in the evening and night. I appreciate the opportunities we have in Lent and Advent to worship using different forms of evening prayer, which often include hymns appropriate for the closing of the day. One that we sang several times this past Lent has “stuck” with me: Abide with Me (#272 in the Lutheran Book of Worship). Both the tune and text bring peace to my soul.

On September 4, 1847, Henry Francis Lyte, whose health had been undermined, preached a farewell sermon to his congregation at Brixham, South Devonshire, England. After holding other pastorates, this man had devoted himself for a quarter of a century to the pastoral care of uncultured but warm-hearted seamen and had gained their love and confidence in a high degree. He visited the fishermen and sailors, both on the ships and in their huts. He provided every outgoing ship with a Bible.

Toward evening of the day when he preached his farewell sermon, he went down the garden path to view the setting of the sun over Brixham harbor. While this lovely scene of nature was before his eyes, the pastor in a long, fervent prayer, as he later told his family, asked his God for ability to write a hymn that might comfort his survivors. No sooner had the sun gone down than he returned to his study, as his children thought, to rest.

But an hour later the door opened, and the pastor came forth with the manuscript of the immortal hymn he had just written:

Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fall and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.


The final stanza is the prayer:

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes,
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

This Easter season, we celebrate the fact that the Lord does abide with us in the joys and trials of our life, and that he will not abandon us at our time of death, our hour of greatest need. Certainly our congregation has had our share of deaths recently, but because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can pray with confidence in the words of St. Paul, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” When Martin Luther’s beloved 14-year-old daughter lay deathly ill, her father prayed: “Lord, I love her very much and should like to keep her, but, dear Lord, since it is Thy will to take her away, I am glad to know that she will be with Thee.”

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

In the Name of Love: MLK

"Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image. Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression. Help us like your servant Martin to use our freedom to bring justice among peoples and nations, to the glory of your name; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." (Lutheran Book of Worship)

Today we remember the martyrdom of Martin Luther King, Jr., and praise God for his witness and dream of a better society.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

First Entry

Let's see how this works. Who reads blogs anyway?