Archive for July 2009
Prayers for Little Children
Ich bin klein, mein Herz ist rein. Soll niemand drin wohnen als Jesus allein. Amen.
Jesukindlein komm zu mir
Jesukindlein komm zu mir,
mach ein frommes Kind aus mir.
Mein Herzerl ist klein,
kann niemand hinein,
als du, mein liebes Jesulein.
For others see:
Children’s Evening Prayers: http://www.kirchenweb.at/kindergebete/abendgebete/abendgebete.html
Also see the prayers of the Volga Germans, Portland, Oregon
Wie fröhlich bin ich aufgewacht.
Wie hab ich geschlafen so sanft die Nacht.
Hab dank den Vater im Himmel mein,
dass Du uns wollens bei mir sein.
Bleib bei mir auch diesen Tag,
dass mir kein Leid geschehen mag. Amen.
Müde bin ich, geh zu Ruh,
schliesse beide Äuglein zu.
Vater, lass die Augen dein,
über meinem Bette sein.
Hab ich Unrecht Heut getan,
sieh es lieber Gott nicht an.
Aber Christi Gnad und Jesu Blut,
machen allen Schaden gut. Amen.
Ein Gebet aber auch ein Lied:
Breit aus die Flügel beide
O Jesu, meine Freude,
und nimm dein Küchlein ein.
Will uns der Feind verschlingen,
so lass die Englein singen:
dies Kind soll unverletzet sein. Amen.
Noch ein Gebet:
Christi Blut und Gerechtigkeit
Das ist mein Schmuck und Ehrenkleid,
damit will ich vor Gott bestehn
Wenn ich zum Himmel werd eingehn. Amen.
Another prayer; noch ein Gebet:
Ach mein herzliebes Jesulein,
Mach dir ein rein sanft Bettelein,
Zu ruhn in meines Herzens Schrein,
Dass ich nimmer vergesse dein! Amen.
A short prayer before going to sleep
(I believe it comes from Dostoevsky or
I could also check Les Miserables.)
lay me down like a stone
and raise me up like a loaf. Amen.
Another prayer for bedtime
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Watch over me from heaven above,
Jesus, keep me in your love. Amen.
For a child cranky before bedtime
I’m so tired I want to cry.
Dear Jesus come near by
and hold my hand until sleep
and your dear watch over me keep. Amen.
Saying Grace at the Table
Herr, Dir sei Dank für Speis und Trank. Amen.
Segne, Herr, was deine Hand uns in Gnaden zugewandt. Amen.
Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ, dass du unser Gast gewesen bist.
Bleib du bei uns so hat’s nicht Not, du bist das rechte Lebensbrot. Amen.
Alle guten Gaben, alles, was wir haben, kommt o Gott von dir. Dank sei dir dafür. Amen.
Wir danken dir, o treuer Gott, für unser gutes täglich Brot.
Lass uns in dem, was du uns gibst, erkennen, Herr, dass du uns liebst. Amen.
Vater, segne diese Speise uns zur Kraft und Dir zum Preise. Amen.
Zwei Dinge, Herr, sind Not, die gib nach deiner Huld:
Gib uns das Täglich Brot, vergib uns unsre Schuld. Amen.
Another Grace as popular in German as in English
Komm, Herr Jesu, sei Du unser Gast
und segne was Du uns bescheret hast. Amen.
Come Lord Jesus, be our guest
and let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen.
Another Table Prayer
For health and strength and daily food,
we praise thy name, dear Lord. Amen.
be our holy guest,
our morning joy, our evening rest.
And with this daily food impart
Thy loving peace in every heart. Amen.
(by Anna Brown Berg from North West Iowa)
We live not, Lord, by bread alone.
Without your blessing, bread were stone.
For bread and for your kindly Word,
we thank and bless you, God our Lord. Amen.
(by Martin Franzmann)
All eyes look to you, O Lord, and you give them food in due season.
You open your hand and fill the desires of all living things. Amen.
Aller Augen warten suf Dich, Herr, und Du gibst ihnen ihre Speise zu seiner Zeit,
Du tust deine Hand auf und sättigst alles, was da lebet, mit Wohlgefallen. Amen.
This one is mostly sung, Speise, Vater, deine Kinder:
Speise, Vater, deine Kinder, tröste die betrübten Sünder,
sprich den Segen zu den Gaben, die wir jetzt so vor uns haben,
dass sie uns zu diesem Leben, Stärke, Kraft und Nahrung geben,
bis wir endlich mit den Frommen zu der Himmelsmahlzeit kommen. Amen.
(My father always led the singing of this prayer. As a little child, I would sing:
“Sprich den Segen zu den Gabeln,” and I would wonder why we singled out the forks for the blessing.
I did not know the word “Gaben” back then.)
An Evening Prayer
Herr, bleibe bei uns, denn es will Abend werden und der Tag hat sich geneiget. Amen.
Some other prayers and their translation can be found in the German-Russian Heritage Website page. They are written up by Carol Just Halverson of St. Louis Park, Minnesota and Sherrie Gettman Stahl.
Carol asked about the German song they sang around their grandparents’ grave: “Wo findet die Seele, die Heimat, die Ruh.” It can be found at a website called Home, Sweet Home. I can remember the fervor and love of my father singing this song. The following words come from that site.
German Text (Jörgens)
1. Wo findet die Seele die Heimat, der Ruh?
Wer deckt sie mit schützenden Fittichen zu?
Ach, bietet die Welt keine Freistatt mir an,
Wo Sünde nicht kommen, nicht anfechten kann?
Nein, nein, nein, nein, hier ist sie nicht,
die Heimat der Seelen ist droben im Licht!
2. Verlasse die Erde, die Heimath zu sehn,
Die Heimat der Seele, so herrlich, so schön,
Jerusalem droben, von Golde gebaut,
Ist dieses die Heimath der Seele, der Braut?
Ja, ja, ja, ja, dieses allein
Kann Ruhplatz und Heimat der Seele nur sein.
3. Wie selig die Ruhe bei Jesu im Licht!
Tod, Sünde und Schmerzen, die kennt man dort nicht.
Das Rauschen der Harfen, der liebliche Klang
Empfängt die Erlösten mit süßem Gesang.
Ruh’, Ruh’, Ruh’, Ruh’, himmlische Ruh’,
Im Schoße des Mittlers, ich eile dir zu!
4. Bei aller Verwirrung und Klage allhier,
Ist mir, o mein Heiland, so wohl stehts bei dir!
Im Kreise der Deinen sprichst „Friede!“ du aus,
Da bin ich mit deiner Gemeinschaft zu Haus!
Heim, heim, heim, heim, ach ja nur heim!
O komme, mein Heiland, und hole mich heim!
A mens’ choir sings it on Youtube: “Wo findet die Seele die Heimat der Ruh” We sang the melody somewhat differently, but pretty close to their rendition.
The Banquet of King Jesus, Sovereign of all Humankind – Pentecost VIII, July 26th 2009 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Oakland, California
Pentecost VIII, July 26th 2009
at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Oakland, California
2 Kings 4:42-44 Psalm 145:10-18 Ephesians 3:14-21 John 6:1-21
The Banquet of King Jesus, Sovereign of all Humankind,
Today we have the story of how Jesus feeds the five thousand according to the Gospel of John. John’s Gospel tries to get to the bottom of the good news of Jesus Christ; he tries to think it all the way through. Thus he shows that this feeding of the five thousand represents the royal nature of Jesus and that is why afterward, the people try to capture him and make him their king.
In those days the powerful often had huge banquets for the people under them. There were Roman feedings of thousands by which they wanted to prove that they were capable of providing the livelihoods for the people they ruled. In Rome someone from a patrician family gathered clients for whom they became the patrons. Today we feel that we work for the powerful, but in those days, a dignitary with authority in Rome had to give benefits to clients, who then performed duties for their patron. Thus clients would ask a patron, “What have you done for me lately?” and the patron would ask, “Have you done the duties I assigned to you?” The clients of the patron were expected to gather around the doorway of his house and praise and honor him as he stepped out to begin his day. Then the larger and larger the crowd, the more prestige and honor this patron would have. Attaining glory because of great and noble works, the patron could become a senator or consul or even a Caesar. With that all his subjects had a great deal to gain in the benefits the strongman would then be able to distribute.
We often forget that Jesus, his disciples, and the crowds around him, were living in the Roman Empire. We think of him in Galilee and Judea, but the Romans called the area Palestine.
The Prophet Elisha, the Psalm, and King Jesus, the Lamb of God, all point, however, not to a human patronage system, but to the reign of God. In the words of Isaiah: “What a beautiful sight! On the mountains a messenger announces to Jerusalem, “Good News! You are saved. There will be peace. Your God is now King” (Isaiah 52:7). Only God can be that giver of grace and favor and only God should be believed in and trusted with our lives. Those who trust in flesh, that is politicians, will find that they can’t keep their promises, but it is God alone who keeps them.
Barley loaves were evidently the bread eaten by the poor. Elisha feeds a hundred prophets with twenty of these loaves of bread, along with some grain, given as an offering of the first fruit to him by a man from Baalshalishah, a town near Shechem. Elisha demonstrates that the Word of God can be trusted to come true: “give to the people and let them eat, for thus saith the Lord, ‘they shall eat and have some left.’”
Our Good Shepherd provides for us in abundance – with lush green pastures and still waters to quench our thirst. But notice how our first fruits are required. If your offering to God comes from the top, then you will always have something left over. Forget God and you will never have enough. It is an insult to God to offer only what you have left over, because in this case you usually don’t have anything left over, if you didn’t limit yourself right from the start with your offering to God. Here the fellow brought his offering to the man of God, but you can give to God by giving to the poor and needy or to the church. But your offering should always be from your first fruit and never from your left overs.
Then the words from psalm 145 come true: “the eyes of all look upon you [O Lord] and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand and fill the desires of all living things” (15-16). Notice how beforehand the psalmist praises the splendor of God’s kingdom: “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and your dominion endures throughout all generations.”
Our unfaithfulness to God by our trust in the god of money, called Mammon, has brought this recession down upon us. “The Lord holds up those who are falling and raises up those who are bowed down” our Psalm says, but our shepherds have not protected the weak from the powerful. The staff of the shepherd keeps the strong from exploiting and taking advantage of the weak. The good shepherd uses his staff to keep the hogs from taking it all away from those who are weak and vulnerable. Anyway, I believe that our prosperity became unpleasant in God’s eyes, because we did not care about the wretched poverty of our inner cities and Appalachia in our own country, nor that poverty which stretches across Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Now thousands of us lose our health coverage every day, over 600,000 people lose their job a month, and millions are under water with their mortgages and have lost their homes, while the homeless lines of our soup kitchen are getting longer and longer. We can trust in money, but God is a jealous God and God is not mocked.
The story about Jesus feeding the five thousand is in all four Gospels and that means it is important. The Gospel of John shows that it is a royal act and that is why the people want to capture Jesus after it and make him their king. But they do not understand the height, depth, width, and breadth of the love in the kingdom of God. They want to make Jesus into their conception of a king, which is very much like a Caesar. But Jesus’ conception is to be the Christ of God, the Holy One come to be among us. He has to dwell in the hearts of the faithful: their hearts have to be his dwelling place, like the temple is the dwelling place of God – for when we are baptized in his name, it is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us (Gal 2:20). Just having a job, a livelihood, our daily bread, our house with a car in the driveway, is not the whole picture of what the kingdom of God is about. His kingdom is not of this world; it is in but not of it. We live in this world, but are hearts are not to be caught up in worldly values.
The multiplication of the bread is the second of Jesus’ signs in the Gospel of John. His first sign is changing water into wine at the marriage of Cana. Thus Jesus provides for us the bread and the wine for the Holy Communion we receive in his kingdom. John presents Jesus as the King of the universe and of all the nations, but he does not want the twelve tribes of Israel to be lost, nor anybody at all. The bread stands for people and Jesus says, “gather up the fragments left over so that nothing [we could say, “no one”] is lost.” And the disciples gathered up left overs, filling up twelve baskets. John is speaking in picture language to tell us about the kingdom of God, because Jesus accepts the offering of that little boy, takes the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributes it. That means that all are provided for out of the miraculous abundance of God from the Table of the Lord.
Naturally the people had their eyes on the food and wanted more of it, so they try to capture Jesus to make him their king. In the early church, when someone who had done great things, came into a cathedral, the people sometimes captured him and made him their bishop, even against his will. Augustine avoided churches until he was captured.
Now that assault by the people who were only thinking of their daily bread, their livelihood, their jobs, houses, and prosperity, made Jesus withdraw. Perhaps even the disciples were in on it, because they too became separated from Jesus in the ensuing disarray. Sudden storms often take place on the Sea of Galilee, which in this place, is about seven miles wide. Without the strength of the Holy One from on high, they have to row by their own effort for three to four miles through the wind and the waves. Then they see the one who changed the water into wine, multiplied the loaves of bread for communion, walking on the water to them. They became really frightened as he drew near them. Were they frightened because he was the Holy One, frightened because of the raging waves of the sea, or frightened for him walking on water as if it were dry land? We do not know. But when they wanted to take him into their boat, by the power from on high, they immediately reached land near the city of Capernaum, where they were going.
The way the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters, when God created the earth and filled it with the abundance of his gifts, with more than enough food to provide for all living things; the way the Hebrew slaves walked through the Red Sea on dry land, so Jesus walked on water to rescue the little boat filled by his disciples and the way Jesus will also walk on water to save this little ship called Bethlehem, because all who receive him and believe in his name, he gives the power to become the children of God, born not of the blood or of the will of the flesh or the will of man, but of God (John 1:13).
So we do pray for our daily bread, for we really need it, but we have to put the bread of Life, Jesus Christ first. It is from Jesus that we receive the grace and favor that we can count on. Remember that we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. In our family reunion, we again experienced the blessings that God bestowed upon us, because my father and mother’s faith was foremost in their lives. They may have been poor as church mice, but their children, great, and great, great grandchildren are 122 strong with some more on the way. You can only receive Christ in faith, but when you do, you can’t count the blessings that you will see! Amen.
We sang the hymns: “Soon and Very Soon, We’re Going to See the King!” and “Let us Talents and Tongues Employ” which contains the line: “pass the word around: loaves abound!”
 For a detailed account of the Roman patronage system see James S. Ruebel, Caesar and the Crisis of Roman Aristocracy, (Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994), pages 1-19.
Philosophy of Religion, Diablo Valley College, Dr. Peter Krey – July 20, 2004
David Hume lays some heavy skepticism on people who believe in God. He writes in Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion:
Our ideas reach no farther than our experience:
We have no experience of divine attributes and operations:
I need not conclude my syllogism: you can draw
the inference yourself.
Now after the first shock of reading such an argument, the question arises whether it is valid. First, it came as a relief to notice that there were two negative premises, and Hume may have been counting on the fact that few people know the rules that determine the validity of syllogisms. None are valid with two negative premises.
But that proves too easy a solution, because the first premise really needs to be translated into a positive universal.
No ideas are thoughts that reach farther than experience.
All ideas about divine attributes and operations are thoughts that reach farther than experience.
Therefore no ideas are ideas about divine attributes and operations.
Symbolized it becomes
No I are E. *****EAE Figure II
All D are E *****Valid Syllogism called Cesare.
No I are D. ******Conclusion
Thus the only way to disagree with Humes’ skepticism is to challenge his premises. The fact that there are a priori ideas show that they can come before experience and be independent of experience. Thus his first premise is untrue, and therefore the conclusion does not follow, nor does it need to be accepted.
Another translation of his syllogism:
All ideas are representations of experience.
No divine attributes and operations are rep. of experience.
Therefore no ideas are about divine attributes and operations.
“Fig-grow up, Fig-grow down, Fig-grow, Fig-grow all around: Halo Fig-grow, Halo!”
Children’s Sermon: Taking a plumb line out of a cloth bag filled with tools: “What do you see?”
Children: “A plumb line.” Taking a board and slanting it: “See how the plumb line is straight and the board is not? If a wall or a house is not upright, it will fall down. And if we are not upright, if we cheat or lie, we will also fall down. Herod’s Kingdom was not right and it had to come to an end. But the House of God will stand forever.”
Taking a level out of the bag: “What do you see?”
Children or adult from the congregation: “A level.”
“It’s a lot like the plumb line. But you have to hold it to the board and see if it is straight or slanted, if it is completely horizontal or not.” Hold the board horizontally and slowly let the children see it become level. “You have to watch the bubble go right between the lines. The level reminds us that we have to be fair and that all people are equal. We should play no favorites when it comes to what’s right.”
Pulling a ruler out of the bag: “What do you see?”
They answered: “A straight edge. A yardstick. A ruler.”
“Now this helps us measure things and Amos would ask, ‘Do we measure up? We want to honest and good.”
The chalk line: Putting chalk on some string, we did it on the string of the plumb line: “This is a chalk line. Some one can make lines across a whole floor with it. even longer lines, too.” (We let the children snap the chalk line and it printed a straight line on the board. We used purple chalk to make the line stand out.)
Marshall, who helped with the children sermon, said, “Now we use lasers to make lines like that. But chalk lines were used back in the time of the ancient Egyptians when they measured out and built the pyramids!”
Let me sing you a song about Amos’ tools:
A plumb line,
God’s plumb line
makes us upright, sound, and fine.
to be equal and fair,
We work for justice everywhere.
Measure for measure,
We share the Gospel treasure.
A chalk line,
God’s chalk line,
Jesus is going to make us shine.
our mission true,
with love and forgiveness for me and you.
 The English text in Amos says that the Hebrew word translated as “plumb line” is uncertain, because this is the only time the word comes up in scripture. (The technical term for such a word is hapax legomena for those of you who study exegesis.) So I turned to the text in German, to see how Luther translated it and he has “chalk line.” Marshall’s comment makes that choice of tools plausible. How far back does a plumb line go? Has anyone ever written a history of tools?
What came first, the cardinal, that is the bird, or the church officials with their red hats, who sit in the college of cardinals and elect the pope?
That is a trick question that I used to ask in my course, “Critical Thinking,” where thinking is critical. While the bird, of course, came first, it was named after the church cardinals, whose robes were bright red and who wore tall red hats.