The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream


NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Roses for Mrs. Wright

California Dreamin' Rose


It began with our neighbor Mr. Wright struggling to clear snow from his car. They live next door. He and his wife drove their cars but were not able to do much, due to their health. Team Jackson began clearing the walks and driveways of the homes on each side of us.

Mrs. Wright was intrigued by our new rose garden, first the eight TV bargain roses, then the KnockOut roses, and finally the hybrid tea collection. She came over to visit with my wife Chris, often on the porch overlooking the roses.

Soon she was listening to our worship service every Sunday, although they were Seventh Day Adventists. When I described the roses on the altar, she was watching closely, because they were delivered to her door a few minutes later.

One day Chris took LI and Alex over to meet the Wrights. They loved seeing Alex playing with his latest toy, and Mr. Wright talked to him.

Various maladies have ganged up on Mrs. Wright, and she is in the hospital, in very serious condition. We learned this yesterday morning and made plans to see her.

I put on my hat, overcoat, and old shoes, and began cutting the best roses - in the driving rain - from the various gardens. KnockOuts were sprouting some new blooms, even some buds ready to open. Once a large vase was full, I went to the backyard. Hybrid teas were not really blooming anymore, but one John Paul II white rose was in bloom. I cut that one.

John Paul II rose


California Dreamin has been a bit fragile all summer, so I did not expect much from that rose. However, the best bloom from all summer was reaching up from a long, slender stem. As anyone can see from the photo above, that is a spectacularly beautiful rose.

Maybe the bargain roses will tithe, I thought. One reader, a classmate from Moline, wondered how roses could grow around a maple tree, which is famous for greedy, shallow roots. There was a perfect example of Bride's Dream, pictured below, a delicate pink.

Bride's Dream

We took the roses to the hospital and visited with Mrs. Wright. She could only write her messages. She told everyone that "my Lutheran pastor" was there. I was able to stay a while and say a prayer with her. Chris stayed much longer and had a long conversation with her, Chris talking, Mrs. Wright writing. oxygen running.

Many people think in terms of our worship broadcasts serving a large group from far away, and that is why we set it up initially, with Brett Meyer sending a camera and expecting services every Sunday. The first chapel was actually a narrow hallway that worked perfectly, and our organ music was donated by our Michigander.

We do not have in this house for people in the chapel, but it works just as well for our neighbors as it does for other states and countries.

I am offering this little story to show how the Gospel works in reaching people. One only has to trust the Word and not tell God what to do and when He must do it. One of my favorite hymns sums up Biblical, Lutheran doctrine so well.


"Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart" by Martin Schalling, 1532-1608
Translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1829-1878

1. Lord, Thee I love with all my heart;
I pray Thee ne'er from me depart,
With tender mercies cheer me.
Earth has no pleasure I would share,
Yea, heaven itself were void and bare
If Thou, Lord, wert not near me.
And should my heart for sorrow break,
My trust in Thee no one could shake.
Thou art the Portion I have sought;
Thy precious blood my soul has bought.
Lord Jesus Christ,
My God and Lord, my God and Lord,
Forsake me not! I trust Thy Word.

2. Yea, Lord, 'twas Thy rich bounty gave
My body, soul, and all I have
In this poor life of labor.
Lord, grant that I in every place
May glorify Thy lavish grace
And serve and help my neighbor.
Let no false doctrine me beguile
And Satan not my soul defile.
Give strength and patience unto me
To bear my cross and follow Thee.
Lord Jesus Christ,
My God and Lord, my God and Lord,
In death Thy comfort still afford.

3. Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abram's bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my Fount of grace,
Lord Jesus Christ,
My prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.

Hymn #429 from The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Psalm 18
Author: Martin Schalling, c. 1567
Translated by: Catherine Winkworth, 1863, alt.
Titled: "Herzlich lieb hab' ich dich, o Herr"
Tune: "Herzlich lieb hab' ich dir, o Herr"
1st Published in: Berhnard Schmid's Orgelbuch
Town: Strassburg, 1577