At the time of writing, I am not quite half way through a sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. I am finding the preparation for the sermons to be moving and inspiring. I have read from a number of authors writing about the Lord’s Prayer. One writing caught my attention this past week with the assertion that the Lord’s Prayer is really a public prayer – a prayer to be prayed with others. We pray the Lord’s prayer a lot at Ascension – at every worship service, at the end of nearly every meeting and Bible study, at every wedding and funeral (and twice at funerals when there is a burial.) I have noticed a real strength in praying it together. Together we are praying for God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done. Together we are praying about our daily bread, our forgiving of others, for discernment about temptation, for deliverance from evil.
Together we are asserting that the glory, the power, the praise belong first and foremost with God. That is freeing and empowering. (The Lord’s Prayer is also for private use, but I think the author has a good point – that there is a real strength in praying the Lord’s Prayer together.) As Christians, we are stronger together. And thinking about being together, I invite you to rally together on Rally Day on Sunday September 11th.
At the 10am combined worship service in the sanctuary we will pray the Lord’s Prayer together on the 15th anniversary of 9/11. We will pray the Lord’s Prayer as we set off on another year of study and life together – praying that God’s kingdom will come in and among us (using Martin Luther’s words from the Small Catechism.) After the worship you are invited to the Haimerl Center to move through the Ascension Expo, to see some of the many ways of serving God’s kingdom through your church. There will be a bratwurst and hot dog lunch with shared side dishes.
We are calling it Oktoberfest, and there will be root beer. Our Rally Day is like an appetizer for a big celebration year in 2017 – celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, celebrating 100 years of our congregation from its beginnings as Indianola Lutheran. Oh, and with the lunch there will be activities including Gaga Ball. (A game from Israel.) The youth will demonstrate what a fun game this is. I’m looking forward to a strong year, a prayerful year. I really like the plaque from Lilly Nyrop that I have brought to worship a number of time. It was in her family for a number of generations. The words are – ‘Don’t Forget to Pray.’
God bless each of you.
- Pastor Tim
AUGUST SCRIPTURE READINGS