St. Peter's Blog 'Closing Days' from St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church – North Wales, PA's Blog

Closing Days

Image Monday, Jul 2, 2018
Author: Pastor Andreas Wagner

A group of 34 people from our church and some friends are on a trip to Europe with me. The trip is now coming to an end.

Today we are driving up to Heidelberg, Germany for the last day of our European tour. This last week in Italy and France has been wonderful, although we had one extremely hot day and two people who experienced some health issues. They are all on the mend.

 

Yesterday, we worshipped with the Lutheran Church of St. Thomas parish in Strasbourg, France.  Our travel choir sang four pieces. It was a French worship service, and we did not understand much, but the pastor prepared a short message in English for us, which was very nice and much appreciated. We were all very happy that our travel choir director and organist Kirsten was able to play the organ in that majestic church for 15 minutes or so after the church service.

 

The day before we had visited the birthplace and museum of Albert Schweitzer, our spiritus rector for this part of the journey.  In his early years, Dr. Schweitzer played the organ at St.  Thomas frequently and, according to the pastor, helped save it. It was nice to connect with this giant of Protestant Christianity and, really, giant of humanity on his home turf, where he was born and raised and taught before his important work in Africa.  

 

We are all very happy that we were privileged to see so much: our wonderful tours in Italy, including Venice, Verona and the tour at the Ugolini Winery in the Valpolicella region… The wonderful little towns here in the Alsace region, and all the places we saw and visited in Germany before that… Today, we travel to Heidelberg. We will have our closing service in the majestic Heilig-Geist-Kirche in the center of town. For that service, I wrote the following psalm. I just called it Psalm 151:

 

 

Psalm 151

O Lord our God, how majestic is your name!

You created man and womankind and allowed them

To prosper and to conquer the world.

 

You gave them gifts to build beautiful cities,

To cultivate the soil and grow vineyards and

gardens abundant with fruit.

 

You enabled us to look in the sky and send people to the moon,

To develop cars and planes, machinery and computers,

Robots that do work for us.

 

And yet, in all of this, we remain entangled in sin,

There is as much darkness as in the beginning

And our world is threatened by the dark secrets of our souls.

 

Have mercy on us, O Lord,

Teach us to be humble and mindful,

Full of integrity and truth.

 

Have mercy on us, O Lord,

And forgive us our sins.

Let us go home renewed and energized.

   

Have mercy on us, O Lord.

Let your light shatter the darkness

And may your Word be a lamp unto our feet.

Amen.

 

Pastor Andreas Wagner


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