Getting Right with God
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with Your free Spirit.” Amen.
I grew up in a Lutheran church where the pastor and the congregation sang the liturgy. The beauty of the music glorified God and expressed the deep emotions I felt when thinking about how much I loved God. The words above were our Offertory. I committed the words and the beautiful chant to memory, and I often pray this. I sang it as a lullaby to my children and grandchildren. What a lovely way to transmit faith!
This week began our Lenten Soup Suppers and Bible Study. This is my favorite religious season of the year. Yes, it even trumps Advent and Christmas for me. The pathos, the power of the stories, the fact that Christ paid the price for our sins trumps every other drama! My heart leaps when I anticipate the worship services and the fellowship of our faith community that we get to experience during Lent.
I hope you will come on Wednesday evenings to break bread together with us. Come at 6:00 p.m. (or a few minutes earlier) and invite others. We have a beautiful message and a loving community that has room for everyone!
This week we heard about the terrible persecution of fellow Christians in Libya, Coptic Christians who had traveled to Libya in search of jobs. Are they so different from us? I think not, except that they have paid a price for their Christian beliefs that, so far, we do not risk experiencing. I am humbled by their prayers as they gave their lives. Would I be so brave? We worship in relative comfort, but we must remember and pray for Christians everywhere in order to preserve our freedom to worship. Let us pray for clean hearts and right spirits for all human beings…. And give thanks for the brave, who do not flinch in the face of death.