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Learning from Job

Dear Friends,
    Why does God allow suffering?  In the book of Job, a challenging and disturbing book of wisdom in the Bible (in case you thought from the title that this post was about learning from your employment!), we get a glimpse of how suffering can either destroy us or make us stronger.  It can lead us to despair or to a deeper knowledge of God's love.  Will you curse God when troubles come your way?  Will you question God's wisdom and mysterious will?  Will you let God be God and hang on in faith, wrestling with God but ultimately still trusting that God's ways, God's plans, and especially God's love are greater than our greatest problems.  Such a posture of faith is easier said than done.  We will reflect on this challenge at our midweek service tomorrow night (Wed.) as we examine "Job: When Bad Things Happen To Good People."  Worship begins at 7:30 with dinner in St. Andrew's Hall at 6:30.  Hope many of you will be able to join us.  A word of thanks to everyone who has worked so hard behind the scenes to make these Lenten evenings of food, fellowship, and worship such a blessing to us. 
Holy God,
    I need your wisdom and insight.  Mine isn't enough.  Will you help me please?  Amen.


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Lord's Prayer

Dear Friends,

This Sunday in worship our Gospel lesson is Luke 11:1-13.  In my message, I will be focusing chiefly on this rather strange parable of Jesus.  However, this is also the text where on e of Jesus' disciples says, "Lord, teach us to pray" and Jesus introduces what would become known as the Lord's Prayer.  While this will not be a primary focus on Sunday, I thought I would share with you below a reflection by Christian writer Brian McClaren bringing fresh meaning to a prayer that has become so familiar that, unfortunately, it can become rote and uttered with little meaning or reflection.  I hope that you will find this helpful for your own time in prayer.  And who knows?  It may even show up sometime in a worship service.
A Spoken Version of the Lord’s Prayer
This rendering of the Lord’s prayer uses unfamiliar words and phrasing to help us actually hear its message rather than lapsing into an auto-pilot recitation. You can use it in public worship by having …