Musings on Ecumenism

We are part way through the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18-25), an annual observance with over 100 years of history. Organized by the World Council of Churches, the week is a call for Christians to remember Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17:21). This year the theme is “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit” (John 15:5-9). I have to say that this is tough…

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Soul Food

Trust in Him at all times, you people, pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. (Psalm 62:8) The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man (woman, child) avails much. (James 5:16) Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes WITH you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.(Deuteronomy 31:6)I’m not a “cradle Lutheran” but the daughter of a Quaker lady…

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To Dance. To Wail.

When in trouble, call out to me; when I save you, sing my praise” (Ps. 50:15) Anne Lamott calls, “Help,” the first great prayer. She identifies Help, Thanks and Wow as the simple prayers people need to endure the challenging parts of life. These are the prayers, she suggests, that lead us through trouble toward healing and transformation. I try… to ask God for help in my life, in our nation, in the world; to thank God for what is good; to feel…

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Sacred Spaces

1The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world and those who dwell therein. 2For the Lord has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. 3Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord, and who may stand in God’s holy place? (from Psalm 24, ELW translation) I have been thinking a great deal about sacred spaces since the pandemic began, but especially in the last few weeks. I was an early encourager of all of…

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Praying the News

I am a person who does want to watch, listen to and read about the news to stay current on issues and concerns, learn new things, and know about where I am living. But, I have to be careful when and where and how I engage with the news. For one, I have a 9 year old who can get really nervous when some tough stories are shared. But, I can also completely derail and go down a path trying to search for…

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Friends

“A friend loves at all times…” Proverbs 17:17 Jesus said, … “I have called you friends…” John 15:15 The landowner replied, “Friend…” Matthew 20:13 One of the realities of the pandemic is that many of us have not been able to see our friends in person as much as we usually see them. We have “made do” by keeping in contact through texts, phone calls, written notes, FaceTime or Zoom calls, and in a few cases, by including them in our “bubbles” and…

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Just as You Did It

…‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ (From Matthew 25:40)It is reassuring that we are members of Christ’s family. It is reassuring that if we treat each other as Jesus treated others that we are treating Jesus that way.Who are members of your extended family? Who do you treat with respect, care and love as Jesus showed us and commanded us?There is a…

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How Prayer Works

It has been a long six, eight months, hasn’t it? Aren’t you tired of this? Don’t you want your summer back, your life back, your economy back? What are we supposed to do with millions unemployed, and now, maybe millions who can’t pay the rent? Or buy groceries? (see video)

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What if prayer is most important when we feel the most doubt?

Is anyone else finding it hard to pray these days? I am finding it hard - not because the need isn't great or because my heart isn't willing; it's because I hardly know where to begin. On any given day, I have half a dozen urgent things I want to lay at God's feet. By dinner time it's up to a full dozen. And yet I find myself putting it off. Prayer that is. I’m worried God will want to know where I've…

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Spring Was On the Way

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me. Psalm 23:4It was mid-March. We were having roller coaster weather as the low-and high-pressure systems battled each other; but our sunny back lawn needed mowing. I’m not able to follow the mower around anymore, though I’ve done it for many years and for a number of years many lawns a week. Now I rely on Larry (my oldest…

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Do You See?

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he…

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