Prayer: Almighty God, gracious Lord, we thank you that your Holy Spirit renews the church in every age. Pour out your Holy Spirit on your faithful people. Keep them steadfast in your word, protect and comfort them in times of trial, defend them against all enemies of the gospel, and bestow on the church your saving grace, 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?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this prayer stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this prayer?
Reflection: Today let’s reflect on the Prayer of the Day for Reformation Sunday. Lutherans gather for worship this week to celebrate God’s renewing work in the church. Martin Luther and his colleagues many years ago were God’s agents of reformation. The Spirit continues to renew the church through the ages and into the future.
Thursday, I ran into a seminary classmate I haven’t seen for a long time. After chatting and doing the important how-are-you routine, the ensuing conversation included the state of the church. We are both old enough to be very aware that some long-standing Lutheran churches no longer exist. Many congregations are looking for new ways to afford ordained leadership. The growth of splinter churches disturbs both my friend and me. He said, “I don’t see any evidence of the historical church in them.” And I keep trying to hear the gospel coming from those churches. It is a bit troublesome to consider the future of God’s church we call “Lutheran.”
Certainly, God’s church in this day needs renewal. Not for the survival of the institution, but for the bestowing of God’s saving grace. So, living in this day in the church is scary, confusing, and challenging. At the same time there is something delightful, too. The anticipation of God’s renewing is exciting. What is God up to? I’m not sure. But, let’s remain always open to the leading of the Holy Spirit as was Brother Martin and others. “Pour out your Spirit on your faithful people.” --Jim Bricker, Chaplain to Camp Mount Luther’s Summer Staff
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