Tag Archives: people

Judgment of People, and Psalm 50

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, July 30, 2017

PowerPoint Presentation

Judgment of People, and Psalm 50

As I read this sermon outline from Advent 1935 written by Bonhoeffer, I get little whispers of things to come. Premonitions of fearful and horrible things. The Nazi regime in Germany was becoming repressive, even as early as December 1935.

The troubling backdrop for this earnest sermon writing of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s causes a lump to form in my throat. Bonhoeffer’s biographer Eberhard Bethge was also troubled: “The Protestant Church was not in the habit of opposing state legislation, but from 1935 onwards it was becoming increasingly clear that resistance would have to be offered.” [1]

(As I said, troubling times, indeed.)

The sermon taken from Psalm 50 was written to highlight God’s best. Even though there were many trials coming at the reader because of the German government, the secret seminary persisted. Bonhoeffer already thought it courageous to stand against the Nazi regime. And, God preaching to the government was something fearful people would gravitate toward.

Dear Lord, Bonhoeffer seemed to be strong and courageous in the 1930’s, with more possibilities to expand horizons. This sermon outline is heartening. I hope and pray my church (in Morton Grove) to allow considerable freedom. O, God who reveals Godself to us, help each of us to praise You, and praise all creation of Your hands. Thank You for God’s loving kindness to each of us. O God, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.



Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000), 62.

Community? In the Midst of Imperfections.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, December 20, 2015

church gathering - meant to be a church choir

Community? In the Midst of Imperfections.

I serve as a pastor. Yet, I feel especially called by God to be a pastoral care giver. To come alongside of people, and walk with them for a bit. Through problems, trials, and difficulties.

Especially at this holiday time of the year, I hear about the difficulties people have with family members. Sometimes, whole sections of families. And often, these people are having fear and anxiety over family gatherings. Supposedly festive times, but somehow morphed into awful, judgmental, anxiety-ridden occasions.

I seldom can do anything for people other than listen. If they ask, I do have several simple things to suggest. For example, limit the time spent with these difficult family members. Yes, show up, if necessary, but often you can choose how long you spend in their company. Be selective when accepting holiday invitations. You do not need to attend every party or dinner or function. And, most important, try to have your own transportation when possible. If the family members are becoming unbearable, you can excuse yourself. It is all right. Do what you need to do.

In my Advent meditation for today, Henri Nouwen brings up Parker Palmer and his writings on community. I know that many people think that “community” and “family” are places where we are all feeling warm and fuzzy feelings about each other. And in the best of all possible worlds, that kind of community and family would be marvelous. A portion of people even get to experience that warm, genial, loving kind of community and family, on a regular basis. But, many people do not.

Nouwen says that Palmer says: “community is the place where the person you least want to live with always lives….Community is in fact the place where you are purified, where your love is tested, where your childhood of God is constantly put through the mill of human relationships.” [1]

I know I have idiosyncracies that can drive other people up the wall. Just as much as others’ habits and manners and ways of doing things can drive me wild, too. God, help me not to bug other people. Help me to be careful not to be too annoying. Help me to do my part. And, I have faith that You will take care of the rest.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Linguori, Missouri: Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2004), 44.