The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Most precious

"The whole world has nothing better, nothing more precious, nothing finer, than the dear church in which we hear God's word and where He is honored with real worship." Martin Luther said it, and it's still true.

To hear your life addressed by God, to discover again that you truly are beloved by the Lord of the universe, to be part of a people which has hoped, prayed and praised God across more than 30 centuries, this lifts one beyond narrow concerns. You discover you are participating in a holy drama that includes not only you and the guy in front of you but also saints and martyrs of all times and places — including those precious in our memories — who glorify God and enjoy the holy presence in ways we can't yet imagine.

Worship that truly honors God and transforms our awareness is the subject of this month's theme, which dovetails with "Leaning forward to listen" (page 16), in which four Christian artists tell how they hear God in imagination and wonder. One of those artists, musician Marty Haugen, our "cover boy," is also mentioned appreciatively in the worship articles on pages 12-13. Haugen, who writes liturgies and composes worship music, says he listens to God by throwing himself into the panorama of images in biblical stories. It's good to know those who write songs for that which is most precious to us are also listening.


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February issue


Embracing diversity