There was a little church, St. Nicholas, in Obendorf, Austria preparing for a Christmas Eve service. The Assistant Priest, Joseph Mohr, sat down to practice the organ and not a sound would come from the instrument. What could he do? The organ would not play on that all important night of the year when we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Joseph knelt and prayed for inspiration from the Lord.
Not too long before, Mohr had visited a family with a newborn child and been inspired to write a poem with six stanzas entitled “Silent Night.” He thought of this poem and then of his friend, Franz Gruber, a school teacher and guitarist at the church. The priest went to Gruber’s home above the school with the poem in hand and explained the problem with the organ. “Can you write music for the poem and play the guitar for the service tonight? “ Mohr asked Gruber? The teacher smiled and assured the priest that he could.
Before the Midnight Service, the choir learned the words and the melody. Franz Gruber played the guitar. Every heart was blessed by the words musically expressing the story of Christ’s birth. The less heard fifth verse continued full of grace:
Silent Night, Holy Night
Already long ago planned for us,
When the Lord frees from wrath
Since the beginning of ancient times
A salvation promised for the whole world.
A salvation promised for the whole world. *
This stanza expresses the finished work of Christmas. Jesus was born, he lived and taught us and died on the cross to save us from our sins – freed us from Satan’s wrath. Then He arose from the grave as the victorious son of God to fulfill the Father’s purpose to redeem each one of us personally – the promised salvation for the world.
Just stop and think. This moment will never come
again. Do we realize how important our days are?
Oh, we say, “My days are not of any importance.”
The Bible says, “Hebrews 3: 13 (NIV), “But encourage
one another daily as long as it is called “today,” so
that none of you may be hardened by sin’s
deceitfulness. “Hebrews 13:8 (NIV) says, “Jesus
Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Another verse about today from Jesus’
words from the cross to the thief stated, “Truly I tell
you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke
So, today is significant. You don’t have to be doing
something profound, but keep your hearts and minds
on the Lord Jesus. You may say, ” I can’t do that
while I am working on a job in a plant or some
business project.” Ask the Lord to help you, because
He is a part of everything we do in this world.
Yes you will not always remember, but keep
practicing His presence and you will be surprised at
His part in your “today” activities.
Thank you, Jesus, for reminding each of us that you
are with us every day! Amen
cms / St. Petrie
1 Timothy 2: 1-2 , I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
Recently, I heard of a prayer group that prayed for certain African countries every month. I am sure that Christ has put a country or more on your heart or individuals in that land to pray for. With the wars, disasters, disease and killings occurring over there, it is hard to not to be somewhat detached and not feel the horrible emotion and suffering.
Jesus knows our hearts and He gives us Bible verses to help us along the way. 2 Chronicles 7: 14 is one you will remember. If my people, who are called by name, will humble and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Pray that every day and you will soon have it memorized!
Perhaps, praying with a friend about another country or a certain situation and praying with your spouse is the answer for you. “When we pray in humility, turn from wickedness, and seek God, He hears us.”1
1Lawrence Darmani, Daily Bread, July 4, 2016
cms, St. Petrie
Daughters & Sons of the King Sept. 2021
Acts 1:8 (NIV)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
At a Bible study recently, we talked about how important it was for the pastor to visit the sick. They were saying how easy it was for us as lay people to just make conversation and not talk about the importance of sharing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We should expect the minister to read the Bible and pray. What about us who are daughters and sons of the King? Does that get us off the hook, because we are just church members? Are we afraid to offend someone by sharing our hearts during a visit? Of course, we must ask the Holy Spirit to guide the visit. Are we worried that folks might not like us or be convicted about not knowing Jesus?
Today, I saw a friend at the hospital and shared with him some of the good news from St Petrie. As we were talking, another woman from Seneca joined our conversation. Before Don left he shook her hand and asked if she went to church and if she had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. To his joy and mine, she answered “yes.” She said that her family’s health was not going to keep her away from church much longer.
Matt 5:16 Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Let the Lord touch hearts and “be” in Him!
Have you ever made a “wrong turn when travelling?” Alistar Begg, a well -known radio pastor, talks about the time he was driving and the sun was suddenly setting in the wrong place. How could that be? He had followed the signs. As it turned out, he had made an incorrect turn and was going the opposite direction to his dismay.
How many times have we been going along following the right directions and ended going a wrong way? Did we quickly correct our way and start heading in the right direction? The question is: Do we always do a turn-a-bout in life’s directions when we are headed the wrong way? Perhaps the “sun” was the son of God that had not been so important in our lives the last few weeks. Life had gone pretty well and we had not “needed” those emergency prayers as often.
Then, all of a sudden something happened and we cried out to Jesus and said “help.” He was there – always. Jesus says,” Lo, I am with you always.” Matthew 28:20.
Then, you can say thank you, Jesus, for being with me and saving my soul – sacrificing your life at the cross – rising from the dead — Son of God – forgiving my sins! Help me stay close to you in the good times as well as the rough times.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen
cms/St Petrie 6/2021
Per CDC and State of Illinois Guidelines starting immediately if you have been fully vaccinated (2 weeks from the date of your last vaccine injection.) you no longer need to wear a facemask at church. If you are not fully vaccinated masks still to be worn. Of course if you are fully vaccinated and feel more comfortable wearing a mask you are more than welcome to do so.