Category Archives: Martin Luther

A Prayer

I am just going to leave this right here…

A Sacristy Prayer
by Martin Luther

Lord God,
You have appointed me as a Pastor in Your 
Church,
but you see how unsuited I am to meet so great and difficult a 
task.
If I had lacked Your help,
I could have ruined everything long ago.

Therefore, I call upon You:
I wish to devote my mouth and my heart to 
you;
I shall teach the people.
I myself will learn and ponder diligently upon 
Your Word.
Use me as Your instrument —
but do not forsake me,
for if 
ever I should be on my own,
I would easily wreck it all.
This text was translated in 1999 for Project Wittenberg by James Kellerman and has been placed in the public domain by him. You may freely distribute, copy or print this text.

The Pastor -|—

The Mission

Holy God,
what a relief it is that my
strength,
abilities,
knowledge,
credentials,
and the like
are not what you are looking for
to advance the kingdom of heaven.
As Luther said in his sacristy prayer,
“if it were left up to me I would surely bring it all to ruin”.
That is so true.
Rather,
you call the unqualified to proclaim Your Good News;
qualifying us through the Holy Spirit.
May we keep our eyes on You
and not turn inward; thinking either
“I am not qualified” and thus turn away from the mission,
or think,
“I am pretty good” and thus focus on our abilities; derailing the mission.
Holy God,
through Jesus Christ You redeemed us and empowered us.
May we not abandon the mission
but rather proclaim from the mountain top,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.
All praise, honor, glory and worship be unto You,
oh God,
through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen!

The Pastor -|—

Awesome wonder

Holy God,
as I prepare for worship this morning,
I am reminded of these beautiful words:

O Lord, my God,
when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made
I see the stars,
I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout
the universe displayed

And it is in awesome wonder
that I enter Your courts with praise.
It is in awesome wonder
that I lift my song to you.
It is in awesome wonder
that I offer my petitions, offerings and my very self
to You.

Oh Lord, my God,
You are my Truth,
my Life,
my Salvation,
my Hope.
And being such to me, may I go forth in
Your power
to be a beacon of Light;
standing firm on Your promises,
and not giving in to cultural demands.
May I always live in awesome wonder;
abiding in Your Word;
and being a reforming voice
in this world,
in the name of Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

A Reformation Prayer

Let’s pray…

Holy God,
nearly 500 years ago, one man,
Martin Luther,
started a reformation that would change the Church
and the world forever.

But…

we are not here to worship this man
but rather worship You through another man,
Your Son and our Savior,
Jesus Christ.
For it is through Jesus’ death and resurrection
that we are made righteous in Your eyes.
It is through the Holy Spirit
that we come to know this truth.
It is through Your love
that we even have hope in the first place.

So I ask that Your Spirit may move
in,
through and
around us today
as we hear this Word of Truth from Your Holy Word.
May Your Word create, sustain or strengthen faith
and may it not return to You empty.
And through this Word of Truth,
may we be modern day
reformers
as we lead people to Your Son,
Jesus Christ.

All honor
and glory
and worship
and praise
be unto You, holy God, through Christ Jesus our Lord,

Amen.

The Pastor -|—

A big fat lie

When I was growing up I was taught a big, fat, lie.  It was not from my parents or a teacher or some other trusted adult.  The lie came through friends who they themselves learned from someone else.  And the lie came in the form of a childhood rhyme that you probably know very well because you were taught the same big, fat, lie.  And it goes like this…

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.”

I am not too sure why I bought into that lie.  I think maybe I used it as a make-shift shield against bullies trying to make me cry (and believe me ~ I had a few of those people in my life growing up).  Maybe it was because I knew that those bullies would never use sticks and stones to actually break my bones so you might as well stop with the names.  But all the while I was using this rhyme as a weak, invisible shield, I was being hurt more than any damage that sticks and stones could inflict.

Names and words do hurt.

I started thinking about this rhyme as I began my sermon prep this week on the 8th Commandment, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”  And as I was remembering, all those names I was called as a child came rushing back.  I still remember the pain those names caused.  I still remember the laughter of those kids.  In a way, I wish they had broken some of my bones with stick and stones instead of using words to hurt me.

And today, the use of words continues to be a problem as many kids experience bullying online.  Even rough and tough football players are not immune to the power of words.  In the book of James, the author says that the tongue  is something that can not be tamed.  The same tongue we use to praise God is used to hurt our neighbor.  And I think the worst thing about this is that often times we don’t realize the pain we are causing because so many people try to hide their pain lest they look weak.

Maybe we spread a rumor about someone (true or not, it doesn’t matter).  Maybe we attack a person’s character without all the facts.  Maybe we participate in back stabbing.  Maybe we betray a person’s trust through sharing a secret.  Maybe we use words in a way that sounds comforting but really causes more hurt.  Whatever the form and context of our words, we need to be very mindful of what we are saying.  Luther’s Small Catechism has a great explanation of this commandment; one that we would do well to remember:

We are to fear and love God so that we do not betray, slander, or lie about our neighbor, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain his actions in the kindest way.

Romans 10 says that faith comes from hearing.  Since that is true then how do we proclaim the Gospel and build faith if we are using words in destructive ways?  May God be praised in all we SAY and do.

Dear Lord, grant me a kind tongue that seeks to speak well of others and gives you glory.  May my words not harm my neighbor but rather lift them up. In Jesus name, Amen.

The pastor -|—

Happy Reformation Sunday!

Blessings to you this Reformation Sunday.

Sorry, but I do not have a prayer to post this morning.  My “smart” clock once again got the best of me and set itself back on hour this morning.  Hence…I overslept; throwing off my routine.  I pray that the Holy Spirit may speak to your heart this morning; moving you to action and inspiring you to proclaim freedom for the captives.

So in the words of one of my favorite hymns:
‎”No strength of ours can match is might! We would be lost, rejected. But now a champion comes to fight, whom God himself elected. You ask who this may be? The Lord of hosts is he! Christ Jesus, mighty Lord, God’s only Son, adored! He holds the field victorious.” (Vs. 2 of A Mighty Fortress)

God bless!

edh -|—