Sunday, August 13, 2017

Prayer for the Day after Charlottesville

Almighty and everlasting Father, whose sovereignty extends into every life and into every corner of the universe, we pray to you today in our grief , anger, and confusion.

We pray for the families of the persons killed in and around Charlottesville, VA yesterday, and we pray that there will be no more deaths in that troubled place. May they know comfort.

We pray for those injured in Charlottesville. May they know healing.

We pray for those wayward souls who falsely believe that demonic evils like racism and white supremacy can ever be acceptable, and especially, frankly, for those who embrace racism & racist rhetoric while claiming to be disciples of Jesus. They are lost. May they know wisdom.

We pray for those who know that every racist word or act brings more of hell into this already broken world & who are standing against that hell with nonviolent steadfastness. May they know patience.

We pray for those disciples of Jesus who are so obedient that even in the face of hate do their best to offer love. May they know strength.

We pray today for law enforcement officers, military personnel, and governmental leaders, who have the difficult responsibility of protecting the peace as well as individual rights, even when those are seemingly at odds. May they know stamina.

We pray for President Trump, who has far too often failed to denounce racist rhetoric and at times has even seemed to affirm it, which has emboldened those who embrace hate. May he know discernment.

We pray for preachers of the gospel across the land, that today we might all publicly, firmly, unashamedly denounce racism, racist rhetoric, white supremacy, nationalism, hatred, and violence. May we know faithfulness.

We pray for your holy Church in this nation, that we might be resolute in the role you have given us in our Baptism to renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, repent of our sin, accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves, confess Jesus Christ as our Savior, put our whole trust in his grace, and to serve him as our Lord, in union with the rest of the Church, which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races. May we know allegiance.

We pray for our sisters and brothers gathered here today who are appalled & angry by the events in Charlottesville & want to respond in ways that are both firm & helpful. May they know peace.

All these things we pray today, in the power of your Holy Spirit and in the name of the one who brutally died rather than strike back in violence, the Messiah Jesus, the Prince of Peace, our Lord. Amen.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Top 15 Movies for Memorial Day

Destination Tokyo (1943)

The Story of GI Joe (1945)

They Were Expendable (1945)

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

Battleground (1949)

Pork Chop Hill (1959)

The Longest Day (1962)

Platoon (1986)

Glory (1989)

Gettysburg (1993)

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

The Lost Battalion (2001)

The Hurt Locker (2008)

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

(Note: This is not a list of Greatest War Movies,
which would be a very different list.
These movies are my top choices for Memorial Day in the USA.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

1 Peter 3:13-22

13 Who can really hurt you if you are dedicated to doing good?

14 If you’re derided for your faithfulness to the covenant,
you’re blessed.
Don’t fear your opponents;
don’t be intimidated.

15 But revere in your hearts the Messiah as the Holy Lord.
Always be prepared to explain your hope
to anyone who asks you about it,
but do it with tenderness and respect,

16 keeping a clear conscience,
so that, when you are mistreated,
those who malign your Messiah-led faithfulness may be ashamed.

17 God’s will is:
It is better to suffer for doing what’s right
than it is to ever do evil.

18 For the Messiah also suffered once for sins –
the one faithful to the covenant
for those unfaithful to the covenant.

In order to bring us to God,
he was executed in the flesh but made alive again in the Spirit,

19 by which he went and proclaimed to the imprisoned spirits

20 who in long ago times
did not obey the God who waited patiently while Noah built the ark,
in which a few people – eight – were saved through water.

21 Baptism is an echo of this,
and now saves us
not by washing dirt from the body
but as a promise of God’s faithfulness
through the resurrection of the Messiah Jesus,

22 who has gone into heaven
and is at the right hand of God,
with angels, authorities, and powers
under his command.

- translated by KHM, 5/17/2017