Summer Day

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I Guess the Golden Door is Closed

Give me your tiredAs I listened to our youth who returned from a recent mission trip to New Jersey where they also had the opportunity to visit the Statue of Liberty, I could not help but reflect on those powerful words inscribed on her; “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be breathe free.”  Evidently these words no long apply if you are a central American child trying to escape the dangers of your home country so that you may simply “breathe free.”    I know that we need immigration laws  and that those who came through Ellis Island and thousands of others have followed the “rules.”

But I have visited Honduras on several occasions and know first hand how dangerous it is to live there.  I preached in our Lutheran congregation in San Pedro Sulu which is now closed because it was too dangerous to remain open in their neighborhood where even children were being murdered because of gang and drug violence.

They are being sent by parents who love their children but only see the possibility of them living without the constant threat of violence by sending them away.  I don’t believe any parent makes such a gut retching decision easily.

statue of libertyWhat we face on our southern border is not primarily a political crisis but a humanitarian crisis.  One of the reasons our immigration laws allow undocumented persons to enter our country is because it is unsafe for them to continue to live in their home country.

I am especially concerned how Christians have joined the ranks decrying this influx of undocumented children and have even participated in trying to blockade buses that are trying to bring the children to processing centers where the majority of them will eventually, after proper proceedings, be returned to their home countries.  The statement of Jesus, “to not forbid the children coming to him” was so important that it is included in all three of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke).  A few years ago one of the popular trends in Christianity was to wear a bracelet with the letters WWJD.  This stood for “what would Jesus do?”

I’m convinced that Jesus would have also showed compassion and mercy.  The process of documenting someone to have the right to apply for asylum in our country takes time as does the processing to depart them.  In the meantime, the least we should do is treat them with dignity and humanity.   Let us remember that for a majority of them their driving force in coming to our country is their yearning to breathe free.  Jesus always tempered justice with compassion and mercy.  Shouldn’t we do the same?

When I was working out at the gym I was playing the greatest hits of John Denver.  This song came on and made me thinking of all the children crossing our border just because they want to live.  You might enjoy listening to “I Want to Live.”

 

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Brian McLaren’s Newest Book

I have a big fan of Brian McLaren. Think I have read everyone of his books. Here is a short intro to the book and link to amazon.com where you can purchase the book. I will be offer a TRIAL online book discussion in a few weeks. If you would be interested in this, let me. I am looking for just 6-8 people who would want to try an online book discussion.

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God’s Pause – devotional

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Bishop Eaton’s Easter Message

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An Invitation to Centering Prayer

I have found the mediative prayer, like centering prayer, to be a great source of spiritual renewal. It is like returning to the well when I feel parched and thirsty. I encourage you to consider Centering Prayer as mediative process that will draw you closer to God. I can recommend Peter Traben Haas’ book Centering Prayers: A One-Year Daily Companion for Going Deeper Into the Love of God. Here is a short video introduction to centering prayer.

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What Does the ELCA Mean to You?

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Happy Valentine’s Day

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Guide to Live Tweeting Church Events

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Luther’s Morning and Evening Prayers

The past couple of weeks we have been taking about claiming one’s baptismal relationship with God and how Martin Luther encouraged us to daily remember that we are baptized.  In the Small Catechism, Martin Luther wrote Morning and Evening Prayers for individuals/families to say each day. I find them attractive in their simplicity and devotion. and a great way to mark the beginning and the ending of each day with God. Perhaps you will find them useful in your own conversational relationship with God and in your family.

Morning Prayersunrise

In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say: In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray Thee to keep me this day also from sin and all evil, that all my doings and life may please Thee. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Then go to your work with joy, singing a hymn, such as one on the Ten Commandments, or what your devotion may suggest.

Evening PrayerSUNSET-Logo_INSPIRED
In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:
In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.

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