Spiritual Life
Lutherans and the Bible: The ELCA Constitution PDF Print

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The ELCA Constitution has two statements regarding the Bible. 

 

First, there is a general statement about the Word of God, which is understood in a threefold sense: 

1) Jesus (the incarnate Word);

2) the message of the law and gospel (the proclaimed Word); and

3) the Bible (the written word). 

 

Second, there is a specific statement about the Bible as authoritative for the church's proclamation, faith, and life.

 

What the ELCA Constitutions says about the Word of God (2.02):

 

This church confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.

 

a. Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, through whom everything was made and through whose life, death, and resurrection God fashions a new creation.

 

b. The proclamation of God’s message to us as both Law and Gospel is the Word of God, revealing judgment and mercy through word and deed, beginning with the Word in creation, continuing in the history of Israel, and centering in all its fullness in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

 

c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God’s Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God’s revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God’s Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.

 

 

What the ELCA Constitution says about the Bible (2.03):  

 

This church accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life.

 

 

 

Lutherans and the Bible:

 

Some key points Lutherans like to make when speaking of scripture:

 

The Word of God: Lutherans speak of the “the Word of God” in a threefold sense:

 

            First – Jesus Christ (the Incarnate Word)

 

            Second – the message of law and gospel (the proclaimed Word)

 

            Third – the Bible (the written Word)

 

The most important thing about the Bible is that it reveals Jesus Christ and conveys the message of law and gospel to us.

 

Law and Gospel: Lutherans say that the Word of God speaks both law and gospel and that both must be held together for God’s Word to be fulfilled:

 

            Law = that which accuses us and judges us

 

            Gospel = that which comforts us and saves us.

 

This message of law and gospel is at the heart of scripture: faithful interpretation discerns this message; faithful proclamation declares this message.

 

Sola (Only) Scriptura: Lutherans say that scripture is the “only rule and norm” according to which doctrines are to be established and evaluated. This does not mean that Lutherans do not respect the validity of sound reason or the legitimacy of human experience. Scripture has the unique authority as the only record of revealed truth and it therefore provides a perspective from which human reason and experience are best understood.

 

The Plain Sense: Lutherans say that scriptures is to be interpreted in line with its “plain sense.” This means that passages are to be understood in the sense that would have seemed obvious to their original readers (e.g., “metaphorical” or “literal”). Secret systems of “coded meaning” are not to be imposed on scripture to produce interpretations unavailable to the original audience.

 

Public Interpretation: Lutherans say that the interpretation of scriptures is a public act rather than a private one. Individuals should not view the Bible as a conduit for receiving private messages from God but should recognize that the Bible presents God’s word to the Church as a whole. The meaning of scripture for individuals is to be found by seeking application of its universal message to personal situations.

 

 

 

 
Prayer and Meditation PDF Print

Prayer can be lifted up anytime in any place you are throughout the day.  Wooden Cross offers two inspirational spaces in which to pray or meditate. If you have a prayer request or would like to be sent an email when others have prayer needs, please contact the office.

 

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You're welcome to use the Prayer Chapel or meditation room anytime the church is open.  Light a candle, play some gentle music, birdsongs or sounds of a waterfall.  Sit for awhile and refresh your soul.  You may choose the outdoor meditation area midway along the Ott Walk stairway, which leads to our upper lot.  Here nature invites you to take a moment to reflect and connect.

 
Build Faith with Daily Prayer PDF Print

A quiet moment of reflection - talk with Jesus - recited text celebrating faith. Though very different, all of these are valid definitions for "prayer".  Prayer is an intentional and meaningful way by which every individual can deepen his or her personal relationship with God.  If you've never prayed or don’t know how, you’ll find that it’s easy to begin, and it can bring great peace and joy to your life.  Don't know where to start?

 

1.  The Lord's Prayer

Our father in heaven,

Hallowed be your name,

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done,

On earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins as we forgive

Those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial

And deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

And the glory are yours, now and forever.

Amen

 

2.  Do you or someone you know need prayer?  Contact the church office and your request will be emailed  immediately to Wooden Cross members who have signed up as a part of the Prayer Chain.  That name and your prayer request will also become a part of the prayers of the church at Sunday worship. Everyone can pray for others.  Contact the church office to become a part of the Prayer Chain.

 

3.  Learn more about prayer by contacting the Explore the ELCA Prayer Center.   Here you may request a prayer, download prayers for our mission in the world, or view a prayer for healing video.

 

4.  The Daily Lectionary also provides a psalm and two scripture readings for each day between Sundays. Daily Lectionary. The foundational premise of this set of daily readings is their relationship to the Sunday lectionary. The readings are chosen so that the days leading up to Sunday (Thursday through Saturday) prepare for the Sunday readings. The days flowing out from Sunday (Monday through Wednesday) reflect upon the Sunday readings.  These texts are used in common by North American Christian Churches. The Daily Lectionary is a wonderful place to begin prayer and seek understanding for God’s will in our lives.

 

5.  The Word in Season, a small quarterly publication, also includes these daily readings with an excerpt provided with complete text. This is a devotional publication available at Wooden Cross on the information table near the entrance.  You're invited to take one home for your personal devotions. 

 

6.  For further inspiration you're invited to subscribe to Today’s Bible Reading Today's Bible Reading.

 

7.  Check out the Spiritual Center at the ELCA Northwest Washington Synod website.

 

 
Ministry in Daily Life PDF Print

Jesus is God's 'Yes' to you!  “Ministry in daily life" is the idea that God's people live their lives from within a deep sense of purpose, thinking of themselves as co-workers with God in God's continuing creation and saving grace in the world.  Ministry in daily life takes seriously the notion of abundance—that the church's mission is built on each person’s abundant giftedness.  A ministry-oriented understanding of "work" or "daily living" begins with one’s own appreciation of the spiritual nature he or she has been given.  Because of Jesus' love, we are freed to serve our neighbors in love.  The terms "gifts" and "blessings" are used to denote the God-given nature of each person’s talents and assets, and our part in God's plan for the world.  Giftedness is presumed to be the underground spring from which any sense of ministry is fed.

 

"You are capable of doing God's will in your life.  Go out and do it!"  

 

Ten Passages to Comfort Workers

• The Third Commandment (Exodus 20:8-11)

• A Warning Not to Forget God in Prosperity (Deuteronomy 8:1-11)

• Appreciation for Miners (Job 28:1-4; 9-11)

• A Prayer for Protection From Enemies (Psalm 35)

• You Are Kind, Lord (Psalm 116:5-7)

• Try Hard (Proverbs 11:27)

• Take Life As It Comes (Ecclesiastes 9:7-10)

• When Someone Sins (Matthew 18:15-17)

• God's Spirit and Our Own Desires (Galatians 5:16-26)

• Help Each Other (Galatians 6:3-10)

 
Stop and Pray!—Ephesians 6:23 PDF Print

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In Spring 2012 Wooden Cross members, families, and friends were invited daily to stop and pray at 6:23 PM.  Each person knows that he or she is joining others in the Wooden Cross community at the same moment to pray, however far apart we may be physically. Watches, cell phones, and clocks have been set to remind us that at that moment, our church is joining together to pray.

 

Ephesians 6:23:“Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith,

from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  

 

This is our unity prayer—our call for the Holy Spirit to fill Wooden Cross; to help us celebrate our diversity with peace and love and to trust the care of our leadership and congregation to the Lord.  Supported by this devotion, together we joyously serve our world through lives of prayer, praise, thanksgiving, witness, and service, fulfilling the Evngelical Lutheran Church in America mission of “God’s work,  our hands.”

 
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