The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The forgotten side of prayer

Our lives change when we open our hearts

Today I stood beneath a cross and received again the gift that God has always given. In that cross I saw all of Jesus’ earthly story. It became a microcosm of all God’s mercy focused on one point in time and lived by one person—who knew the heart of God—in human and historical terms that we could understand and follow.

It spoke to me of giving—giving all, kenosis, the utter outpouring of the loving life of God. I was awed, loved, moved. My spirit bowed as I felt the Holy Presence, and I drank it in ... breathed it in ... and rested.

Yet for centuries we who claim to offer back our love have demanded even more from God. Standing beneath that cross of utter self-offering and measureless mercy, we cry repeatedly, “Lord, have mercy.”

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February issue


Embracing diversity