Happy Sunday morning to you all…and what a beautiful day it is…finally…
…first off, I am sorry that I have been so absent these past couple weeks. It never seems to fail, that when May rolls around things start picking up again until school is done. Also, last Sunday we (Salem) participated in a "Thanksgiving and Retiring Rite" for the Lutheran Book of Worship. The service went well, but things did not really set in with me until this past week when I was removing all the LBWs and WOV (With One Voice) hymnals out. It felt a little surreal.
Today at Salem is Dedication Sunday for our NEW hymnals…the Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW/cranberry hymnals). Today will mark a new chapter in our worship life. It may also mark a time of new controversy as I know some people (a minority of people) are not in favor of these new books. But my prayer is that over time, they will grow to understand that we do not worship books, but rather we worship an awesome God through Jesus Christ our Lord. It will take some time getting used to the "new" page numbers (i.e. the Brief Order of Confession and Forgiveness is not on page 77 but on page 147). I wonder if I will instinctively turn to pg. 77 this morning. It will also take some time getting used to hymn numbers in the 800s.
But I also feel fortunate because I do not have to say "good bye" completely to the LBW. Belmont Lutheran Church (the other congregation I serve) still uses the LBW. Now I just have to stay focused; trying to keep the two worship services straight in my head (I wonder if I will ask Belmont to turn to pg 147 for the Brief Order of Confession and Forgiveness).
In any case, I am looking forward to worship this morning. I am not sure what it will bring (but then again do I ever know). But one thing I do know…is that my prayer will be that everything we do today (and everyday) be to the GLORY OF GOD and not to us. And that also happens to be my sermon focus: What does it mean to glorify God — with the scripture reference the Gospel text from John 17:1-11.
So with that, let’s pray together…
O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the world. I can’t help but think of that Psalm today, O God. When I think of all you have created and all you have done, you are still mindful of us. You still remember us. You still care for us. Within this massive creation you know our needs, you give us daily bread and you love us as if each one of us were the only person in the world. But if that was not enough, you sent you one and only Son, Jesus Christ to die and rise from the grave so we may have life. It is for these reasons (and many more) that all praise, honor and GLORY belongs to you. O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the world. Amen
God’s blessings to you this day and always. Take care.