Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

At age 22, I'd been gone from church for several years.  I believed in God but found church boring.  Other avenues of spiritual growth felt more fascinating.  Yet, I still read the Bible and liked the Jesus I saw in the gospel stories.  Unexpectedly, I got to know a young man who'd finished his course work for the M.Div. degree at Luther Seminary; he was waiting to be ordained a Lutheran pastor.  I asked him about prayer.  I'd been reading Thomas Merton's books and was very much interested in the sort of contemplative prayer he explored.  So — thinking of Merton — I asked my almost-a-pastor friend how I should pray.  He said to me, "When you pray, you should pray the Lord's Prayer."

What a let-down.  I'd learned the Lord's Prayer in Sunday School.  It seemed so ordinary that it was hardly worth the time it takes to recite.  What about the mystical heights and depths of prayer I'd read about in Merton and others?  My friend patiently helped me understand that the Lord's Prayer shows us Jesus' own spirituality, helps us to trust God as he trusted, to want the same things Jesus wanted.  It may not be the last word in prayer, but it certainly should be the first.

We pray the Lord's Prayer a lot — not only at every worship service, but also as a closing ritual to end every meeting.  Do you know what you're asking for?  Would you like to know more before you pray this dangerous prayer?  Starting February 14, I'll offer a video series on the Lord's Prayer featuring James Nestingen, Emeritus Professor of Church History at Luther Seminary.  Every Sunday between worship services, I'll show one of Prof. Nestingen's talks (25 min).  Then we'll have a discussion.  This would be a good Lenten discipline.  I invite you to listen deeply to his exploration of the Lord's Prayer.  You may be surprised if you think this prayer is too ordinary and boring to bring God closer to you.

I'll close with words from Prof. Nestingen:

We begin our study of the Lord's Prayer by first acknowledging its familiarity. We can say it by rote, hardly thinking at all about what we are saying. To be sure, there are times when we really see the need to come to God, exposing our deepest fears and hopes. There is nothing deeper. At such times there is nothing more poignant or visceral, and yet so full of grace, than prayer. In this video study of the Lord's Prayer, we will explore together what it means to pray, learning from the One who said, "when you pray, pray like this."

* * * * * * *

Lessons for February 7th
Exodus 34:29-35
2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2
Luke 9:28-36

THIS WEEK

Wednesday   9:00 - 1:00 p  KOK Preschool/Chapel
                    10:00 a   Bible Study
 
Thursday      9:00 - 1:00 p  KOK Preschool
                     6:00 p  Men's Night at Reedville Cafe

Friday          9:00 - 12:00 p  KOK Preschool
                    1:00  - 9:00 p   Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday      10:00 - 11:30 a  SOV Choir rehearsal
                     7:00 pm           Baby Shower for Solveig  at Kathy and Katrina Tabors

Sunday         8:30 & 11:00 a Worship Services
                    Scrip Order Sunday only scrip  Sunday in February
                    Advertising for Valentine's Day gifts - Flowers, Candy, Restaurants, etc

All women are invited to an old fashion Baby Shower for Solveig
Saturday, February 6th
7:00 pm
at Kathy and Katrina Tabors
Solveig is expecting a baby girl
Registered at Target and Toys R Us

Looking Ahead~

Shrove Tuesday
Tuesday, February 9th
Pancake Supper Youth Group fundraiser
5:30 - 7:00 pm

Ash Wednesday Services
Wednesday, February 10th
11:30 & 7:00 pm

Memorial Service for Don Roach
Saturday, February 13th
11:00 am
(we are asking for cookie or bar donations (Don loved anything "peanut butter" please bring them to the church by Thursday, February 11th)
Please let Tammy know if you can donate a plate of treats.

Youth Group Babysitting Night
Saturday, February 13th
4:00 - 8:00 pm
drop your children off for food, fun and games and enjoy a night to yourself.