The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


In Missouri and Minnesota

For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; and his servants shall live there and possess it; the children of his servants shall inherit it; and those who love his name shall live in it (Psalm 69:35-36).

July 11, 2004, at a Wheat Ridge meeting I was singing the last stanza of my prayer to the tune of "Lemon Tree." At that very hour, at four p.m., my wife Lois was dying in southern Minnesota in an auto accident. I had just written a prayer that could be sung. As I again read the words I see how they fit what was happening in Missouri and Minnesota at the same time. On this journey to Easter there are many occasions that are really more than coincidence. After the fact, by reflection, through recollection, many times in our lives take on special meaning. Look around when something big happens. There is no doubt something else is happening that makes it even more meaningful. If someone dies in October, let autumn help you. If in springtime, let rising seed help you. If a wind blows through a cemetery during a burial, let the wind assure you of the Spirit of counsel and comfort. God, you have filled earth with what we need for comfort. God of wind and sea and fire.

Hold us in your healing hand
With a power deeper, higher
Than the tides that wash the sand.
Come from realms where saints and angels
With the light that dims the dark,
And the peace that calms the waters
Where the life of souls embark.

In the times now gone beyond us,
Through the legacy of years,
In all healings you have granted,
In the wiping of all tears,
By the ministry of others
Grace us with your healing grace,
Through all sisters, through all brothers
In this wondrous earthen place.

Keep your wells and fountains flowing,
Birth new rivers in the deep,
In a healing beyond knowing,
Wash our faces when we weep.
Bring your children to the water
Where our cups are never dry;
Walk us through the living river
Where your people never die.

God, you do hold everything together.

(Excerpt used with permission from Stations of the Heart, Augsburg Fortress, Publishers.)

This week's front page features:

Me preach?Me preach? Colorado pastor, congregation renewed by lay preachers. (Image at right.)

Supportive communities: Four movies of 2007 take us inside.

Faith healing: God's faith in us guides the mending process.

Dem bones: Award-winning sermon addresses domestic abuse.

Also: Draft of human sexuality social statement due in March.

Also: Bishop & rabbi story struck a nerve.

Also: Counting.

Read these articles at our front page ...

More on preaching from our guest blogger:

Justin Baxter"Two minutes into the sermon, I knew it was a bomb," writes Justin Baxter (right), our guest blogger.

Baxter, a student at Pacific Lutheran Seminary, Berkeley, Calif., is serving an internship at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Oakland, Calif. He's blogging about his internship experience for The Lutheran.

Check out Baxter's blog ...

On our staff blog:

Sonia C. Solomonson

Andrea Pohlmann writes about losing our religion.

Julie Sevig blogs about how recent outbreaks of violence have made her more realize how intentional she is about telling her children she loves them.

Sonia Solomonson (right) writes about feeling as if she's losing her mother one piece at a time.

Check out our staff blog ...


The February issue of The Little Lutheran has arrived:

The Little LutheranDon't let them miss another issue.
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February issue


Embracing diversity