71. Comfort and Joy

Happy December! Next up, Bible Sampler quilt block number 71:

Glory Block

Here’s an old Lutheran joke for you today: You’ve heard of God’s chosen people? Well, we’re God’s frozen people.

When I read this passage, I think Lutherans are following the words of Jesus:

“(6) When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (7) And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. (8) Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”

Yep, that describes our style of worship. Being called “frozen” might not be such a bad thing after all.

These instructions are followed by the words of the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus gave us a model, a framework, a guide for communication with God Himself. It hits all the points: adoration, submission, confession, forgiveness, and thanksgiving. We memorized and recited it word for word every night as young children. One of my comforts and joys of parenting was teaching my own babies this prayer as soon as they were able.

I attended an international Bible school for a year abroad, and we would all end our Sunday services with the Lord’s Prayer, each student speaking in their own mother tongue. It was wondrous to hear. Believers from all over the word lifting their prayers as one voice.

I wish I could recall the details, but I remember reading a POW’s story about his captivity in Vietnam. The men were separated visually, but they could hear each other. Up and down the cells, they recited the Lord’s Prayer together. Some sang hymns and recited the Apostle’s creed. The author said that over time, the complete Lutheran order of worship came back to him in bits and pieces. He shared it with his fellow prisoners and they collectively had lots of resources to comfort and sustain them.

The centuries old prayers, creeds, and liturgies of our faithful forefathers are still vital today.

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