St Andrew Lutheran Church weekly devotion 
St Andrew Lutheran Church
4420 Center Point Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
(319) 393-4021
December 6, 2015
"Stir up, O Lord"
     "Stir up your power, O Lord, and come.  Protect us by your strength and save us from the threatening dangers of our sins . . . ."
     "Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the way for your only Son.  By his coming give us strength in our conflicts and shed light on our path through the darkness of this world; . . ."
     "Lord, hear our prayers and come to us, bringing light into the darkness of our hearts; . . "
     "Stir up your power, O Lord, and come.  Take away the hindrance of our sins . . .  that we may receive you in joy. . .            
                      (Prayers for the Sundays in Advent, Lutheran Book of Worship)
      The relevance of the institutional church and even religion itself is considered by a number of intelligent, educated people to no longer be relevant. Religious teachings are considered to be out of date, simplistic and unrealistic.   The references to lost sheep, to people traveling on foot or riding a donkey, or to the birth of a child in a stable are so remote to 21st century life that they are essentially pointless.  However, when we stop in the midst of modern-day busyness and truly listen, the timeless nature of God's Word becomes clear.  Throughout the centuries, men and women of faith have found ways through words, music, and deeds to praise God, to illustrate that God is at work in the world, and to share that good news with others

      Quoted above are excerpts from the four prayers for the Sundays of Advent.  They are some of the most ancient of prayers from the very early days of Christianity, and at some point were designated as prayers for the season of Advent.  These are words of supplication, asking God to give us protection, strength, and light.  They are also words of trust and faith, that our Lord has the power to take away our sins and bring light into the darkness of this world.  How much more timely could prayers be than these?

     There has never been a decade, a generation, or a century in which humanity has not needed to pray these words.  Whether spoken by a lonely shepherd on a cold, dark hillside or by an astronaut looking down on earth from far out in space, these prayers will be heard, and power, strength, light and joy will be given to us as we prepare to receive once again the greatest gift of all.

Your friend in Christ,
Mary Rogers
Worship Times
Holy Communion
  Saturday 5:30 pm
  Sunday 9:30 am
Christian Education
  Youth 10:45 am  
  Adult 10:45 am
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