I ran across something the other day that warmed my heart. Years ago, I would invite willing Guest Ponderers to share their thoughts or something important from their faith journeys. No need to always hear from me, right?
Larry Gottula, of blessed memory, took me up on that invitation once. It seemed our faith journeys shared a common beginning. Our Lutheran heritage would often come up in our chats after worship or meetings at Cheney UMC. We marveled that we each had been given the Lutheran Book of Prayer when we professed our faith.
I share with you here the scrap of paper Larry handed me one day. Written in his own hand, I knew it held deep meaning. --Pastor Pat
This Advent Prayer was taken from the Lutheran Book of Prayer given to me by my cousin Louise in 1944. --Larry Gottula
An Advent Prayer
O Jesus, my Redeemer and my King, as we celebrate Thy glorious advent on this time of the church year, I, Thy humble servant, open wide my heart to Thee. Cleanse and purify it from all sin and evil desire. So rule over me that I may yield my members as instruments of righteousness to my Lord.
Come with Thy blessing also to our congregation. Give to the pastor faithfulness and grant success to all [her] efforts. Give to all the members [mutual] affection toward one another and a fervent zeal for the spreading of Thy Kingdom of Grace on earth.
Come with the riches of Thy favor to our church. Guard Thy disciples against all error and falsehood and prevent all divisions and heresies. Let Thy Church ever be a shining light to all the world.
Come with Thy gracious visitation to all whom Satan still holds in the bonds of unbelief and sin. And when Thou shalt appear in power and majesty, oh, let this Thy glorious advent be to me a day of rejoicing, that I may lift up my head with gladness because my redemption draweth nigh. Amen. --Lutheran Book of Prayer