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Showing posts from April, 2020

Not what I want, but what you want

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By Lisa Kramme, Director of Faith Formation





“Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.”  Mark 14:36
I know what I want most days.  I want people around the world to be safe.  I want there to be enough personal protective equipment, ventilators and ICU beds for the sick and those providing care.  I want an end to this virus, a vaccine, a holy healing of the planet.
I pray a day of healing comes soon, but until then, the phrase “yet, not what I want, but what you want,” continues to echo.  How do I tune in to what God wants?
Christians have a word for tuning in to God, and that word is “discernment.”  My first consistent use of the word “discernment” came about when I started serving on the Nebraska Synod’s Candidacy Committee.  During meetings with people who felt a call to serve as a pastor or deacon, we would ask them to share stories of how they discerned that call. 
For some time, I thought discernment was something that o…

God's Will

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By Tyler Darnell, Nebraska Synod Evangelist
Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.  - Mark 14:36


Jesus is afraid. He knows his torture and death is coming shortly. He is so agitated that he sends his disciples away—even those closest to him. And he is not quiet about it. Jesus does not pray “Father, for you all things are possible; this is just fine.” He pleads that he might be spared.
Jesus knows what will happen next. And Jesus fully trusts in God and submits to His will. We, too, know what happens next. Jesus is hung from a cross. His obedience leads him to a torturous death and to a glorious resurrection.
I know very well how to feel afraid. I can relate to Jesus in Gethsemane pacing with anxiety, sending away friends, and praying desperately for relief from the feeling and its cause.
But I’m less able to relate to Jesus’ obedience. I have sometimes found it much easier to just avoid the issue. I can be quite skilled a…

Thy Will Be Done

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By Carolyn L. GriceNorth Omaha Community Activist, North Omaha Joint Community Ministry Partnership
There is an African American hymn called, Thy Way O Lord, Not Mine, written by Nina B. Jackson.  The earliest reference I could find as to when it was written was a publishing date in 1924. There is no information about Nina Jackson. I always think of this hymn when I hear the words, “Thy will, not mine.” Thy way, O Lord, not mine,
Thy will be done, not mine;
Since thou for me did bleed,
And now do intercede,
Each day I simply plead,
Thy will be done.
Refrain:
Thy will, thy will be done,
Thy will, thy will be done;
Incline my heart each day to say,
"Thy will be done.


In that moment of angst felt by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, he said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.”  --Mark 14:36 Jesus knew that all things are possible through the Will of God. We often forget that as we go about our daily lives. Not my wi…

Not My Will But Yours

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By Bishop Brian Maas

Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” –Mark 14:36
When this text was chosen months ago as the theme for April’s Tell the Story blog theme, we were thinking primarily of Holy Week. We had no idea how fitting it might be instead for the experience we all share of living in a time of pandemic. With Jesus, we pray to the God in whom we know all things are possible, that the cup of suffering known as COVID-19 might pass from us. In faith, we also pray, “not what I want, but what you want.”

Our understanding and our experience of God is that it is not our suffering that God seeks. Contrary to what some preach, I am utterly confident that—I stake my life on the certainty that—this virus is not God’s weapon to punish us or to teach us a lesson. It is simply one consequence of a world broken by sin, a world in which things do not yet function as they will when all creation is made new and perfect. Until tha…