August 3, 2021

Welcome to August. This time of the year holds a lot of things for me. With my agricultural background it is harvest. We got to see what God gave us. And sometimes that was great and sometimes less so, by our estimation. I have always felt that farming and gardening is an acts of courage. Seed is not cheap. and yet every year farmers and gardeners put literally thousands of dollars of seed in the dirt. They may have the ability to irrigate their land, and utilize their preferred way of pest control. But at the end of the day, there are only so factors that can be controlled by the humans who spent the money. Who put the seed the in the ground. Who hope for a big enough profit from this year’s harvest to be able to do it again next year. That takes courage, and I grew up with those people.

There is a prayer that some of you may know as: The Holden Village Prayer of Good Courage. It begins: O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, of whom I wrote last week, has a weekly column called The Corners. She has a blog as well, and frankly is pretty good at utilizing social media. This week she wrote her take on the Prayer of Good Courage. What follows below are her words, in the essence of full disclosure. Because the last thing I want is to get sued over something I wrote on a church website over internship. A portion of Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Prayer of Good Courage – Extended Dance Remix:

Give us faith. Hand it over. Seriously. Cough it up. We don’t generate enough of our own so if you call us, equip us, Lord. Give us faith to go with good courage. Or at least good enough courage.

Again, the words above are those of Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, beginning with: “ Give us faith” and going through “good enough courage”. Her placement of the words on the page is different, but the mesage is the same. Enough of the legalities . The point is : some things, a lot of things, take courage. And that’s tough, when you’re human. And fallible. And scared. So we ask God for courage. Sometimes good courage. Sometimes, as Pr. Nadia suggests, Good enough courage. This church, St. Matthias Evangelical Lutheran Church, has had the courage to face a changing world since 1829. May God grant to it good courage, or at least good enough courage, to face whatever comes next. Amen.

Confident in the grace and mercy of God, we lift the following to God in prayer: Christian and all those who serve in the military; Pam, Betty Lou, Mark, Pat, Seth, DJ, Margaret, Sally, George, Arleen, Greg, Charles, Carol. Darryl, Billie, Dave, Wayne, Troy, Tim and Lisa Myers, the Hurley family. We pray for all those who are suffering from illness and disease, including COVID, mental illness, and addiction. God of Harvest we give you thanks for the fields and gardens yielding their bounty now and into the fall. All of our petitions and praise we lift before you, trusting in your wisdom and grace. Amen.

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