Church Stuff-More or less

Does the church make sense or do we make it too hard for people to come in? I think yes and yes and the task then is to make it easier. Maybe for someone out there, this will be the case. I write as a Lutheran (or, perhaps a Lutherpalian) although I might seem out of the mainstream from time to time. That's okay, isn't it? Let's blog on.

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Location: Northport, Long Island, United States

Contrary to what Google will tell you, I have been blogging for several year, right here. Look for Churchstuff-moreorless. life was a hell of a lot easier when you could talk to someone to get help. Now, you can't do it on the telephone, you can't do it on the internet. Life was easier and made more sense because people actually cared. Now they will screw you as quickly as they will help you. Unfuck the world.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Nun Danket Alle Gott

Martin Rinkart was a German Lutheran pastor during the Thirty Years War, a time marked not only by violent warfare but also famine and pestilence. As the only clergyperson to remain in his town of Eilenberg (one of the others had fled for their own safety and Rinkart buried the other two), it was his responsibility to bury the dead, and bury them he did. Sometimes, like in 1637, 40-50 funerals in one day. Fr. Martin conducted almost 4500 funerals, including that of his wife who died in May of that year.

In a time of unspeakable horror and devastation, Fr. Martin was able to sit down and write a prayer which endures to this very day, a favorite of many Lutherans around the world:

Now thank we all our God With hearts and hands and voices;
Who wondrous things hath done, In whom this world rejoices.

Who, from our mother's arms, Hath led us on our way,

With countless gifts of love, And still is ours today.

This day of National Thanksgiving, first recognized as such by Abraham Lincoln during a much similar time, is a day for me to remember significant events in my life that have happened on that day and give thanks. Not for turkey and all the trimmings but for relationships with which God has blessed me, relationships which began on this day in years past.

While we gather together, let us not forget all of those for whom this day will not be one of Thanksgiving but, perhaps, one of mere survival. Let us remember those for whom this is yet another day in a difficult life, a life which could be made better were we to try and make it so. By doing so, might we not be seen as truly thankful for what we have and who we are?