Reading: Stir up our hearts, Lord God, to prepare the way of your only Son. By his coming give all the people of the world knowledge of your salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Stop and GROW: After reading the prayer, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this prayer?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this prayer or is my favorite part?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this prayer stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this prayer?
Reflection: The prayer of the day for this Sunday begins with “Stir up,” just like last week. Last week we prayed to stir up God’s power. This week we pray to stir up our hearts that Jesus might come to all people that they would know about God’s salvation. What an interesting idea. That Jews, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, Agnostics, Atheists would know about God’s salvation. Not only interesting, but also complicated. What is my responsibility in this? Am I to understand that Christianity is the only way to salvation? Am I to proclaim that Allah brings salvation? Is the agnostic incapable of understanding God’s salvation?
Finally, it’s not up to me. It is God in the flesh who convicts the world of the Lord’s salvation. I’ve given up trying to figure how that works in the midst of the world’s faiths. My heart has been stirred to accept that this is all up to God who lives among all people of the world. How God does it and through whom and by what faith…I don’t know.
This may be a bit of a crass rewrite of the prayer of the day for this week, but here goes. Come, Lord Jesus. Do your thing.
Jim Bricker, Chaplain to Camp Mount Luther’s Summer Staff
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