Cruce Tectum

Cruce tectum, hidden under the cross, a blog for Epiphany Lutheran Church, Dorr, Michigan

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Location: Moscow, Idaho

Monday, May 12, 2008

If You Can Do Nothing Else... Pray!

My wise vicarage bishop, the Rev. Ernie Lassman, once shared with me a common conversation he would have with his shut-ins (I'm paraphrasing)... "Pastor, I don't understand why the Lord doesn't just take me home. I can't do anything. I'm all alone. I need help just to get dressed in the morning. Why doesn't God take me to heaven?" Among other things that Pastor Lassman would say in response, he would always tell them, "I don't know why God hasn't taken you to heaven yet, except to say that if nothing else, you can pray. You can pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ. You can pray for your family and friends. You can pray for the sick and the dying. You can pray for those in prison. You can pray for anyone who needs your prayers. And you can pray for me, your pastor, for the Church, and for her mission to the lost." This is a conversation I've since had with some of my shut-ins.

Walther has a similar insight in the reading for Saturday in God Grant It (St. Louis: Concordia, 2006): "If you think you have no gift, remember this: When you believe in Christ, you receive, as a member of the body of Christ, gifts for the common use. Even when you are unable to discover any gift in you, you are still able to pray effectively in Jesus' name. In the quiet of your room, pray for your brothers and for the preservation of the Word and the holy Sacraments. Place yourself, with only your sighs, in the breach and make yourself to be a wall opposing the spread of corruption. In the last times, when all corners of the earth are filled with cursing, you will become a great blessing" (p. 451).

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