Febuary 2019

May the continued grace of Christ Jesus be with you all as we continue through the bleak winter months and all that it brings such as cold and flu season, not to mention topsy-turvy weather! For many, with more time spent indoors whether it be due to illness or unsettled weather, I suggest taking that time to consider improving your spiritual disciplines of Bible reading, hymnal browsing and prayer.

Our ELW "cranberry hymnal" has a variety of prayers and hymns on Baptism, Healing, Word, Witness & Praise, just to name a few. Reading through the lyrics of a certain hymn is good for the soul. Many hymns tell a story or serve as reminders of a sound walk of faith with God. We tend to forget that the lyrics or words of certain hymns are a resource for prayer and meditation. For example, Hymn #617 gave me much comfort in times of recovery. Just reading the lyrics intermittently settled my heart and brought me a sense of healing:

We Come to You for Healing, Lord
1. We come to you for healing, Lord, of body, mind, and soul, and pray that by your Spirit's touch we may again be whole.
2. As once you walked through ancient streets and reached toward those in pain, come, risen Christ, among us still with pow'r to heal again.
3. You touch us through physicians' skills, through nurses' gifts of care, and through the love of faithful friends who lift our lives in prayer.
4. When nights are long with wakefulness, through days when strength runs low, grant us your gift of patience, Lord, your calming peace to know.
5. We come to you, O loving Lord, in our distress and pain, in trust that through our nights and days your grace will heal, sustain.
Text: Herman G. Stuempfle Jr., b. 1923
Text Copyright 2002 GIA Publications, Inc., 7404 S. Mason Ave., Chicago, IL 60638. www.giamusic.com. 800.442.3358. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Another example of prayer is found in Luther's Small Catechism, which is also contained in our ELW "cranberry hymnal". Here is a sampling from Luther's Morning and Evening Prayer to be prayed each day upon awakening and before bed: "Let your holy angel be with me, so that the wicked foe may have no power over me!" (Luther's Small Catechism, ELW, p.1167) The confirmands pray Luther's Morning Prayer at the beginning of each class. Most of the Level II Confirmands have it memorized, which pleasantly surprised me. There are many other prayers in the ELW "cranberry" hymnal as well.

The Psalter, the Psalms, are also prayers that one might use as a spiritual discipline or daily devotion. Our Christian Education Committee opens each monthly meeting with a responsive reading of a Psalm and a prayer to follow. I encourage the use of the Psalms as prayers in your own life. After all, Luther said we should read a Psalm daily.

Here is a short list of Psalms identifying their types:
Psalms for God's help: 3, 5, 6, 7, 22, 26, 28, 31, 35, 39, 51, 55, 59, 70, 77, 86, 88, 90, 109, 140, 144
Psalms of Praise: 8, 19, 33, 47, 65, 67, 68, 76, 84, 100, 103, 104, 112, 139, 148
Psalms of Trust: 11, 16, 23, 27, 46, 52, 63, 121, 125, 129, 131

Remember the Psalms are a part of our Lutheran history prayed by many down through the ages - even since the time of Luther and most certainly before his time! In times of plenty and in times of want, the Psalms are timeless. That is what I find so intriguing about them. What worked then, still works today!

In these cold winter months, as darkness surrounds us, curl up with a comfy blanket and a warm beverage seeking out time with God letting the Holy Psalter speak to you!

The Reverend Nancy L. Moore, Pastor

Service Schedule

Sunday Worship

9:30 a.m.

Sunday School

10:45 a.m.

First Saturday of the Month

5:00 p.m.

First Tuesday of the Month

10:00 a.m.

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