Devotion and Readings for August 12

Tinker Wedding
Mr. and Mrs. Tinker on their wedding day in 1954.

 

Bible Readings and Devotion for August 12, 2020

 

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

 

Luke 4:23-27 

Acts 24:1-27

Psalm 105

1 Kings 17

 

Devotion for August 12, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

Stories of our lives help us understand and remember who we are.  My late father would tell certain stories to us throughout our lives to remind us of these things.  One of these he told was about how my parents met.

It starts out in high school. My father struggled with English grammar.  Then he decided to approach it as an engineering problem.  With this new approach he finally got it, and he did well.  As he approached college planning, he looked to pay for his studies with an Navy ROTC scholarship.  This included taking a placement test for various subjects.  He did exceptionally well in the English and Grammar text.  At the University of Minnesota, he majored in Petroleum Engineering.  The college engineering magazine editor was looking for good writers, so he got ahold of the list of students who had done well in the various English placement exams.  He saw my father’s score, and he invited my father to write for this student publication.  Some months later there was a need to hire a new typist for the articles.  Only one person applied, and that was my mother.  The editor told my father, “We have hired a new typist.  Her name is Elaine.  I think you will like her.”  And the rest is history.

We continue to review this story over the years because it tells us what has gone before us, and help us clarify our identity as a family.

In our psalm today we have a grand review of the history of the people of Israel.  They are reminded of God’s work, the Covenants, and so much more.  They get to see again and again who they are and what the Lord has done for them.  The final response to hearing this the people conclude the psalm with a resounding, “Praise the Lord!” or “Hallelujah!” depending on which translation you read.  Hallelujah or Alleluia mean “Praise the Lord.”

As we review the saving work of God in Jesus Christ, we get to see everything which is noted in the psalm, plus so much more.  We mostly focus on the distinct action of God in Jesus.  His Incarnation, Birth, Baptism, Temptation, Teachings, Miracles, and then the events of Holy Week.  We especially review the action and purpose of his suffering, death on the cross, placement in a tomb, and his rising from the dead.  Our lives especially intersect with his at the point of his greatest love for us – his death on the cross and his rising from the dead.

The story of my parents meeting intersects in many and various ways with the work of Jesus.  Most importantly is that they both had saving faith in Jesus, even before they met.  They raised their children to know the Lord, and each of them had their own lives intersect with Jesus by faith and baptism.
Your stories of life and faith get to intersect with that of Jesus.  All of us are invited to respond to God’s love by connecting with the greatest story ever told, that of Jesus and his love for us.

 

Prayer

Sovereign of the universe, your first covenant of mercy was with every living creature. When your beloved Son came among us, the waters of the river welcomed him, the heavens opened to greet his arrival, the animals of the wilderness drew near as his companions. With all the world’s people, may we who are washed into new life through baptism seek the way of your new creation, the way of justice and care, mercy and peace; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

 

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Devotion and readings for August 11

Mileage Texas to El Paso

 

Bible Readings and Devotion for August 11, 2020

 

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

Mark 14:12-21 

Acts 23:11-35

Psalms 103-104

1 Kings 16

 

Devotion for August 11, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

Texas is big.  (Yes, I know Alaska is bigger). One of the ways we measure things in Texas is by exit numbers and mileage markers on highways.  The highway which I hear the most about is Interstate Highway 10.  This is the longest Interstate highway in Texas.  From East to West is runs about 880 miles.  The immense distance of the east to west of this road is marked dramatically by a sign at the Texas-Louisiana border – see photo above.  It tells the traveler the distance from that point to the city of El Paso, the westernmost major city in Texas.  We see it is 857 miles.

In today’s reading from Psalm 103 we read in verse 12: “…as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.” This is a powerful image.  It also needs context to make sense.  In one way, if one would travel east or west in a straight line across the surface of the earth, then one would come back to the exact spot again.  If two travelers would set out in opposite directions, east and west, then these two would come across each other on the other side of the world.

So, what do we do with this?  We enter the context of the King David as he wrote this prayer song.  There was no way for him to travel around the globe.  He lived in the Holy Land.  If he headed west, he would hit the ocean and stop.  If he headed east, then he would eventually hit the desert and stop or get a camel.  Eventually he would hit more desert, ocean, or high mountains and have to stop at one of these. Even if he just traveled from the Mediterranean Sea to the desert, he would still travel a great distance.

It is a distance such as this which he is talking about.  As far as one can travel in opposite directions is the figurative distance God places between us and the damage and cruelty of our sin. God’s forgiveness is what does this.  Our loving Lord continues to forgive and to put aside what we have done wrong which harms our relationship with God, others or ourselves individually.

In a sense, the Lord is removing from us the final and negative effect of sin on our lives.  Think about it this way:  we are standing on the border between Texas and Louisiana, and the bad thing, sin, is at the western edge of El Paso. That bad thing is not going to have any effect on us at that distance.  Our amazing Lord is saying that, by his abundant love and forgiveness, the final power of sin over us is removed so far that it is no longer a consequence in our lives.  This is all brought about by the power expressed by the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for us.  For this we can give thanks daily for God’s great love for us in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Prayer

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we humbly thank you for your goodness to us and to all that you have made. We praise you for your creation, for keeping us and all things in your care, and for all the blessings of life. Above all we bless you for your immeasurable love in redeeming the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies that with thankful hearts we praise you, not only with our lips but in our lives, by giving ourselves to your service and by living in your gifts of holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be all worship and praise, now and forever.    Amen

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Devotion and Readings for August 10

CommunionBreadWine

 

Bible Readings and Devotion for August 10, 2020

 

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

 

Mark 14:1-11

Acts 22:22 – 23:10

Psalms 99-102

1 Kings 15

 

Devotion for August 10, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

It hurts when somebody betrays us.  Betray is defined by Websters Dictionary as: “1: to lead astray especially, seduce; 2: to deliver to an enemy by treachery; 3: to fail or desert especially in time of need.”  Our reading from Mark 14 tells us the initial plans of Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus.  We read in verse 10 and 11, “Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So, he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.”

This was one of the Twelve Apostles.  These men had ministered side by side with Jesus for three years.  Together they built trust and friendship in their life together.  Even so, one, Judas Iscariot, was still willing to deliver Jesus to our Lord’s enemies.  Even though Jesus saw this coming, there must have been significant pain in this situation for Jesus.

Despite this betrayal, and the later abandonment of Jesus by his disciples, Jesus continued to love.  This love brought a continued offer to forgive them for their actions.  On the cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Sadly, due to his immense guilt over betraying his Lord, Judas Iscariot killed himself by hanging. After the resurrection, Jesus offered restoration and forgiveness to St. Peter, who had previously denied even knowing Jesus.  We read about this in John 21:15-19.  In all this, forgiveness is central to what Jesus, God the Son, is all about.

This leads us to what is said at communion.  In the standard, “Word of Institution,” used at Holy Communion we begin with the statement, “In the night in which he was betrayed.”  This is based on the New Testament passages about Holy Communion, especially 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

In my piety and spiritual walk with the Lord I find it significant to begin the Words of Institution in this way, “In the night in which he was betrayed…” This is a constant reminder to me, and to the church, that we are loved by Jesus despite our sin.  He gave us this Sacrament, not because we were perfect and good friends.  Rather, he gave it to us because we need his love and forgiveness.  He took this action for the Apostles, and for us, at the Last Supper, knowing that we would not always be loyal friends, knowing that we would sometimes disregard his calling for our lives.

In using the statement, “In the night when he was betrayed,” we are not rubbing it in that we are sinners.  Rather, we are being assured by God Word that we are loved.  We are reminded that God overcomes our rejection, betrayal, and more, all so that we can have life now and forever in Jesus’ name.

 

Prayer

Merciful God, we do not presume to come to your table trusting in our own righteousness, but in your abundant mercy. Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat and drink the body and blood of your dear Son, Jesus Christ, that we may live in him and he in us, now and forever. Amen

 

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Mourning with our Peruvian Partners

Peru Bishop Photo

Death of the Pastor/President (Bishop) of the Lutheran Church of Peru

We, as part of our Gulf Coast Synod – ELCA, have a ministry partnership with churches around the world.  We have a special partnership with the Lutheran churches in Peru and the Central African Republic.  We received the sad news today that Adita Torres Lescano, the Pastor/President (same role as presiding or national bishop in the ELCA) of the Lutheran Church of Peru, Iglesia Luterana del Peru, died today.  It appears that she died due to COVID19 illness.

Here is the notice of her death in translation:

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The Pastoral Conference of the Lutheran Church of Peru – ILP and the Secretary of the ILP, with much regret and deep pain, must inform you that our beloved Pastor Adita Torres Lescano has passed into the arms of our Lord God.
We share this unfortunate news today, August 10, with all the sisters and brothers of the national and international congregations and other institutions that accompany us.
Our Lutheran Church of Peru is in deep mourning, dismayed by her death. We ask our community to pray for their families and other members who today mourn her passing.
“Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful…
Return, O my soul, to your rest,
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling.”
—Psalm 116.
Sincerely,
The ILP Pastoral Conference
ILP Board of Directors Secretary

 

Here is the original letter:

Peru Bishop Letter Death

Please pray for her family and friends, as well as for the people of our partner congregations in Peru.  We will remember her in prayer at worship in the coming weeks.

 

 

Beirut Explosion and Lutheran World Relief

Beirut Explosion

Beirut Explosion: How We Can Help

On the evening of August 4, 2020, a ship full of approximately 2,700 tons of agricultural fertilizer exploded at the port of Beirut, Lebanon.  This explosion killed over 200 people and injured over 4,000 people.  Thousands of buildings were damaged or destroyed.  Various other ships at the port were damaged or destroyed, and their cargoes ruined.

One of the ships destroyed was one carrying items brought to Lebanon by Lutheran World Relief.  Approximately $624,000 worth of relief supplies were destroyed.  Items in the destroyed shipment included 22,000 quilts, along with numerous school kits and health kits.  These quilts and kits are the sort which are made by our quilting group and the Women of the ELCA at MLLC. The loss of these supplies will make the relief efforts more challenging for our ministry partners at Lutheran World Relief.

Here is an article about this disaster as it relates to Lutheran World Relief supplies.  Click Link.

Thankfully there are ways to help those who have lost so much due to this industrial disaster.  The quickest way to help is through financial giving.  You can give online at: Click this link.

You can mail a check to:

Lutheran World Relief
PO Box 17061
Baltimore, MD   21297-1061

You can call to give at:  800.597.5972​​​​​

 

Another way to help is to work on the projects to make quilts, health kits and school kits for Lutheran World Relief.  Contact the church office about work days, project requirements, and other ways you can participate in these works of love for our neighbors around the world.

The 10th Sunday after Pentecost

Nativity Sacred Art NatShepherdMurillo

The Birth, life and ministry of the Jesus is the greatest expression of God being with us.  O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Readings, Devotion, and Prayers for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, August 9, 2020, for both MLLC and Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

We resumed in-person services on the weekend of June 6-7, following the normal schedule for both MLLC and Waldeck.  The Facebook Live services will be offered on Sundays at 8:00 a.m. from Waldeck, and at 10:00 a.m. from MLLC.

Below are the readings, prayers, and Sunday sermon.

 

Remember Your Regular Offerings

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For both of our congregations, Waldeck and MLLC, please remember that our expenses continue even when we are unable to meet as usual.  Please make a point to give your offerings as you would on a typical week.  Here are some ideas of what to do:

For Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ledbetter:

– send your offering by mail to the church office  – Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church; 6915 Waldeck Church Lane; Ledbetter, TX 78946

– set aside your offerings each week, and then bring these to church when you can be at worship again.

For MLLC in Carmine:

– send your offering by mail to the church office  – MLLC, P O BOX 362, Carmine, TX 78932-0362

– set aside your offerings each week, and then bring these to church when you can be at worship again.

– give offerings through the church web site:  mllccarmine.com/online-giving  This page has a link to our secure giving page.  Offerings can be made by bank draft, debit card, or credit card through this special web site.

 

AUGUST 9, 2020

THE TENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

 

First Reading: 1 Kings 19:9-18

R:  A reading from 1 Kings, the 19th chapter.

On Mount Horeb, where God had appeared to Moses with typical signs of God’s presence—earthquake, wind, and fire—Elijah now experienced God in “sheer silence.” God assured Elijah that he is not the only faithful believer. Seven thousand Israelites are still loyal. God instructed Elijah to anoint two men as kings and to anoint Elisha as his own successor.

9At [Horeb, the mount of God,][Elijah] came to a cave, and spent the night there.
Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.”
11He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. 13When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” 15Then the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. 16Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. 17Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. 18Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

 

Psalm: Psalm 85:8-13

8I will listen to what the Lord God is saying;
for you speak peace to your faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to you.
9Truly, your salvation is very near to those who fear you,
that your glory may dwell in our land. 
10Steadfast love and faithfulness have met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11Faithfulness shall spring up from the earth,
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12The Lord will indeed grant prosperity,
and our land will yield its increase.
13Righteousness shall go before the Lord
and shall prepare for God a pathway. 

 

 

Second Reading: Romans 10:5-15

R:  A reading from Romans the 10th chapter.

A right relationship with God is not something we achieve by heroic efforts. It is a gift received in the proclamation whose content is Jesus Christ. This proclaimed word creates our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence Christian proclamation is an indispensable component of God’s saving actions.

5Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that “the person who does these things will live by them.” 6But the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7“or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say?
“The word is near you,
on your lips and in your heart”
(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
14But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

The word of the Lord.  Thanks be to God.

 

*Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33

The holy gospel according to St. Matthew, the 14th chapter.

Glory to you, O Lord.

Matthew’s gospel typically portrays Jesus’ disciples as people of “little faith,” who fail despite their best intentions. In this story, Matthew shows how Jesus comes to the disciples when they are in trouble and sustains them in their time of fear and doubt.

22[Jesus] made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side [of the Sea of Galilee], while he dismissed the crowds.23And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray.

When evening came, he was there alone, 24but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. 25And early in the

morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
28Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

The gospel of the Lord.  Praise to you, O Christ.

 

 

Devotion

“God is With Us”

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is a traditional story about trusting in God.  A man was stranded on his roof during a massive flood.  The flood waters were rising all around him.  In fear for his life he prayed and asked him to save him from the rising waters.  Suddenly a neighbor came by in a boat.  The neighbor encouraged the man to climb down from the roof into the boat so they could escape the dangerous flood.  But the man on the roof replied that he had prayed and had complete faith that God would protect him and save him.  Therefore, no thanks for the boat ride.

Several hours passed and then the sheriff’s deputy came by in another boat.  By this time the waters were lapping at the eaves of the roof.  Still the man refused the help and insisted on staying at his home.  He was sure that God would not allow any harm to come to him, and would save him from the flood waters.

Later a National Guard helicopter arrived to lift him from the roof.  By this point the man was perched atop his chimney because the flood waters had risen so high as to cover his roof.  But still the man would not take the rescue line lowered to him. He screamed at the rescue crew that God would save him from the flood.  Soon afterward the helicopter left, the house collapsed and the man drowned in the flood waters.

Later the man found himself in heaven, standing before the Lord.  Even so, he was quite exasperated.  The man confronted God and said, “Lord, how could you have failed me?  I put faith in you, and I bore testimony to that faith again and again.  Why didn’t you save me from the flood?”

To this the Lord answered, “What do you mean?  I sent two boats and a helicopter to save you.  What more did you want me to do?”

One of the struggles of people throughout time is that we often look for powerful signs and wonders from God, yet miss out on what God is doing right now for us.  Maybe this problem comes because we lack the faith to recognize that God is present and active with us in simply amazing ways each day.

Gospel Reading:  A dramatic sign of God’s presence and power – Jesus walking on the water.

In today’s reading from First Kings we see that Elijah doesn’t get it at first.  The powerful signs are not really God’s presence.  God was not in the earthquake, the strong wind, or the fire.   Rather, God was present in the sound of sheer silence, or the “Still Small Voice”.  In that quiet moment, God is there, speaking to Elijah, assuring him of the prophet’s call, and sending him to live out his ministry.

Our Lord is with us today in many ways, including the quiet and simple moments.  Here are some examples:

In the quiet of the end of our day as we pause to pray– God is there.

In the reading of God’s word, individually, or with others– God is there.

In the sharing of the Holy Communion– God is there.

In the kind and encouraging words we share with others– God is there.

In the fellowship we have with others– God is there.

In those whom we serve in any way– God is there.

In the most difficult moments of loss – God is there.

In the singing of joyful songs in worship – God is there.

In the times when we remember all that God has done for us through Jesus’ death on the cross and in his rising from the dead– God is there.

In all this, we give thanks that God first loves us and seeks us out.  A faithful response to God loving us is to utilize disciplines of the Christian life.  I have shared many times about the Six Marks of Discipleship.  As a reminder, these are:

I will strive to…

*Pray daily

*Worship weekly

*Read the Bible daily

*Serve at and beyond Martin Luther Lutheran Church or Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church

*Be in Relationship with others to encourage spiritual growth

*Give of my time, talents and resources in a generous manner and to the glory of God

We practice these Marks of Discipleship or spiritual disciplines because these are part of God’s gifts which help us to be transformed into the image of Christ.  The core purpose of these and any other Christian spiritual discipline is to become more like Jesus.  We don’t do these for the mere sake of doing them.  It always goes back to the core purpose – to be with God and to be transformed by the presence of God.  The Holy Spirit does this work in us. As we engage in any of these Marks of Discipleship, we are stepping into the reality that we are being worked on by God.  We are being transformed by God into something else.  As we spend time with God in these Marks of Discipleship, we are becoming more like the company we keep.  We are becoming more and more holy as God is with us, and as we are united with Jesus.

I encourage you to reflect on your own lives and to ponder where God has been present in the ordinary and quiet and powerful points of each week. As you do, remember that our God loves each of us with a love which surpasses all understanding.  His love draws us to himself, and in this, we are becoming more and more like Jesus.  We are becoming what he designed us to be in this life and forever more.  For this we give thanks.

Let us pray – Lord God Almighty, you are amazing beyond measure.  We praise you because you are the God who loves us, forgives us, and leads us toward our eternal home.  By your Holy Spirit enable us to see and to believe that you are present with us each day.  Transform our hearts and wills so that we grow to rejoice in the simple and quiet ways you bless us each and every day.  This we pray in Jesus’ holy name.  Amen

 

*Prayers of Intercession

A:  Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.

 A brief silence.

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, your mercy is everlasting and your grace is sufficient for us.  Draw us to a closer walk following the way of Jesus.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We lift in prayer all of those who mourn.  Draw us together in care for those who have suffered a recent loss.   (We especially remember the family and friends of …)   Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We ask that you bring healing, strength and hope to those who struggle in mind, body, or spirit, especially . . .  and also those whom we name aloud or in quiet prayer…  We pray that you will be their help and their shield.   Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We pray for the ministry of Lutheran World Relief.  Help us as we work with this organization to bring comfort and care to those who face difficulty.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Other petitions may be added here.

Grant us greater joy as we encourage faith in the lives of others.  Help us to reach out with your Good News so that our neighbors will know what you have done for them.  We pray that your Holy Spirit will open their spiritual hearts to receive this Gospel. Lord, in your mercy,  Hear our prayer.

P:  Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

LORD’S PRAYER 

Devotion and Readings for August 8 & 9

Book of Common Prayer Cover

Bible Readings and Devotion for August 8 & 9, 2020

 

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

August 8

Mark 13:3-27

Acts 21:1-36

Psalm 92-94

1 Kings 13

August 9

Mark 13:28-37 

Acts 21:37 – 22:21

Psalms 95-98

1 Kings 14

Devotion for August 8 & 9, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

Our reading from Psalm 92 reminds me of a powerful Christian practice of prayer.  It is essentially to have preplanned prayer times each day.  It can be a great benefit to many to invest in one’s prayer life through these daily disciplines.  The psalmist tells us, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night…” Psalm 92:1-2

This is one of the various places which reminds us to include prayer times in the beginning and of the day.  Throughout history the church has helped the faithful by providing resources for daily devotions, scripture reading and prayer.

A few months ago I prepared a daily prayer guide.  It was initially distributed through the Martin Luther – Carmine monthly newsletter.  It is a combination of two traditional resources.  One is Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.  The other is the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.  The Book of Common Prayer has a simply format for morning, noon, evening and nighttime prayers for individuals or families.  I have added in some prayers from the Small Catechism which give us something more connected to the Lutheran faith tradition.

 

I present these to you in two formats.  Please feel free to share this as you desire.

1 – I have formatted this into a PDF.  Click Link.

This is formatted to be printer ready to make a booklet.  Print it on both sides, and have the pages flip on the short edge.  Once printed you can keep this with your Bible and/or other devotional materials.

 

2 – On this web page below is the complete document in the same format at the rest of this page.  Feel free to use this in whatever format you wish to use.

 

 

 

 

Daily Devotion Format for Individuals, Families, and Households

Adapted from the Episcopal Church Book of Common Prayer and Luther’s Small Catechism

 

In the Morning

From Psalm 51

Open my lips, O Lord, *
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, *
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence *
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your saving help again *
and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

 

A Reading from Daily Readings, personal choice or this:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
1 Peter 1:3

A hymn or song may be used; the Apostles Creed may be said.


Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Luther’s Morning Prayer

I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all harm and danger. I ask that you would also protect me today from sin and all evil, so that my life and actions may please you. Into your hands I commend myself: my body, my soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel be with me, so that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.

 

At Noon or Midday

From Psalm 113

Give praise, you servants of the LORD; *
praise the Name of the LORD.
Let the Name of the LORD be blessed, *
from this time forth for evermore.
From the rising of the sun to its going down *
let the Name of the LORD be praised.
The LORD is high above all nations, *
and his glory above the heavens.

 

A Reading from Daily Readings, personal choice, or this:

 

“O God, you will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are
fixed on you; for in returning and rest we shall be saved; in
quietness and trust shall be our strength.”    Isaiah 26:3; 30:15

 

Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

The Prayer

Blessed Savior, at this hour you hung upon the cross,
stretching out your loving arms: Grant that all the peoples of
the earth may look to you and be saved; for your mercies’
sake. Amen.

 

Or

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, “Peace I give to
you; my own peace I leave with you:” Regard not our sins,
but the faith of your Church, and give to us the peace and
unity of that heavenly City, where with the Father and the
Holy Spirit you live and reign, now and for ever. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Early Evening

This devotion may be used before or after the evening meal.

O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

 

A Reading from Daily Readings, personal choice, or this:

 

“It is not ourselves that we proclaim; we proclaim Christ
Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants, for Jesus’ sake.
For the same God who said, “Out of darkness let light
shine,” has caused his light to shine within us, to give the
light of revelation–the revelation of the glory of God in the
face of Jesus Christ.”     2 Corinthians 4:5-6

 

Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

The Prayer

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is
past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and
awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in
Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake
of your love. Amen.

 

 

 

At the Close of Day

Psalm 134

Behold now, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, *
you that stand by night in the house of the LORD.
Lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the LORD; *
the LORD who made heaven and earth bless you out of Zion.

 

A Reading from Daily Readings, personal choice, or this:

 

Lord, you are in the midst of us and we are called by your
Name: Do not forsake us, O Lord our God.    Jeremiah 14:9,22

 

The following may be said:

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see;
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.

 

Prayers for ourselves and others may follow. It is appropriate that prayers of thanksgiving for the blessings of the day, and penitence for our sins, be included.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Luther’s Evening Prayer

I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have graciously protected me today. I ask you to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously to protect me tonight. Into your hands I commend myself: my body, my soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel be with me, so that the wicked foe may have no power over me.  Amen.

The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
bless us and keep us. Amen.

 

Devotion and Readings for August 7

Widow mite

 

Bible Readings and Devotion for August 7, 2020

 

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

 

Mark 12:41 – 13:2

Acts 20:17-38

Psalms 90-91

1 Kings 12

 

Devotion for August 7 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

The young children’s Sunday School teacher at a church years ago asked her eight students if they would give $1 Million to the missionaries.  “Yes!” they all screamed.

“Would you give $1,000 to the missionaries,” asked the teacher.

“Yes!” they all screamed.

The teacher asked a new question, “Would you give $10 to the missionaries?”

“Yes!” they all screamed.

Finally, she asked the group, “Would you give $1 to the missionaries?”

All the group screamed, “Yes!”

All expressed their commitment, except one boy, Johnny.  The teacher noticed the boy clutching his pocket, so she asked, “Johnny, why didn’t you say ‘Yes’ this time?”

“Well,” he stammered, “I have a dollar.”

 

Today’s reading from Mark tells of an impoverished widow who gives all of her wealth as an offering to God.  We read in Mark 12:42 and following:  “A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Here Jesus points out a new way of thinking for many of us.  Instead of simply a portion being for God, he shows us that everything is for God first and foremost.  The woman gave abundantly of herself, rather than just a portion.  All was for God.  Ultimately, this giving of money in this section of Mark is really about our relationship with God.  Sure, offerings support ministries and such, but the more important and much more deeply significant meaning of offerings is about how we love and serve our gracious God.

As we look at our uses for monetary resources, such as for taxes, offerings, food, charity, utility bills, or whatever, we see that the use of these resources is not about money itself.  The resources entrusted to us by God, such as money, are a means to an end.  We get to use these things as a means of expressing our faith and exhibiting our priorities in life.  What comes first is our connection to God.  Our generous use of God’s provision is a follow up to what God has done for us first in Jesus Christ.

Our use of financial resources can be summed up in the teaching of St. John in his first letter, chapter 4, verse 19, which reads, “We love because he (God) first loved us.”  Founded in God’s immense love for us, we are called upon to use and distributed our resources for the love of God, neighbor, and one another.  We are given opportunities each day to give generously and to build up life around us, all for the glory of God.

 

Prayer

God of abundance, you have poured out a large measure of earthly blessings: our table is richly furnished, our cup overflows, and we live in safety and security. Teach us to set our hearts on you and not these material blessings. Keep us from becoming captivated by prosperity, and grant us in wisdom to use your blessings to your glory and to the service of humankind; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

 

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Blood Drive August 23

Gulf Coast Blood Center Logo

 

Blood Donations Needed

You are invited to participate in the blood drive for the Round Top – Carmine area on Sunday, August 23, at the MLLC Fellowship Hall (the older white building on the north side of the MLLC campus).  211 Luther Lane, Carmine, TX 78932.  The blood center will be at the church from 9:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Pre-registration is highly encouraged, as this helps the team be ready for the donors in a timely manner.  It also helps with keeping everybody safe during the COVID19 health crisis.  When donors make an appointment nobody will need to wait for a long time until his or her turn.  This reduces unnecessary congregating of people in the waiting areas.

We encourage you to use this link to register directly with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.  Click this link.

During this challenging time donations are down.  Let’s work together to help solve this concern.

For other questions, contact the Primary Blood Drive Coordinator:

Carol Goehring
Email: goehringr7@gmail.com
Phone: (979) 249-5116

Devotion and Readings for August 6

solomon-wisdom

 

Bible Readings and Devotion for August 6, 2020

 

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

 

Matthew 17:1-13 

2 Peter 1:12-21 

Psalm 27, 80

1 Kings 11

 

Devotion for August 6, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

A few days back I mentioned the wisdom of Solomon.  It is true that he was a wise person.  It was a wonderful gift from the Lord.  Remember, Wisdom, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is, “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment.” In many things, Solomon did use experience, knowledge, and good judgment.  The devotion from the end of July – Click link – shows a powerful example.

In some other things, Solomon was a complete fool.  He was highly unwise and extraordinarily disobedient.  The centerpiece of his foolish disobedience was his marriage life.  His was unique among the Kings of Israel.  There were some who took more than one wife.  Solomon took not just a few wives, but 1,000 wives.  That is not a misprint in scripture nor this devotion.  700 of these were princesses, or regular wives.  There were also 300 concubines, or servant/slave wives.  It has been said that two girls/wives are too many, three’s a crowd, and four you’re dead.  I don’t really know how to describe what he put himself through.

It is likely that the marriages to the princesses were for political alliances with foreign nations.  The princess wife of greatest status and affection was the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh.  He also married women and princesses from the neighboring kingdoms, as listed in the reading.

These marriages, even just one to a foreign wife, were a deep problem.  The problem was that these foreign wives were people who worshiped any of various false gods and goddesses.  They did not know, worship and serve the one true God, the Lord.  Solomon’s foolishness was compounded in that he accepted the invitation of these various wives to worship their false idols.

Solomon became distracted and drawn away from faithfulness to the Lord.  It was not pleasing to our God.  We read where the Lord says about the resulting judgment against Solomon, “Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant.”  After his lifetime the kingdom was split between north and south, Israel and Judah.

It is painful thing to see how our foolishness hurts us and others.  Each of us can reflect on our lives and see something or numerous things which were signs of our foolishness and which had negative consequences.

Even more important is that God’s final word for our lives in mercy.  Sure, we have often been foolish when we could have utilized God’s wisdom.  We, like Solomon, have been inconsistent.  We have been a mix of faithful and sinful, wise and foolish.  As St. Paul notes in Romans 7:24-25a, “Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”  Our only hope in this struggle of life is the source of all goodness and wisdom, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

Prayer

Gracious and holy God, give us diligence to seek you, wisdom to perceive you, and patience to wait for you. Grant us, O God, a mind to meditate on you; eyes to behold you; ears to listen for your word; a heart to love you; and a life to proclaim you; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

 

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.