Lenten Devotions: "Follow Me"
This Lenten season, Bread Blog will be running a series of devotions written by Pastor Ron Glusenkamp, senior pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. The reflections are based, in part, on the music of Peter Mayer, accomplished vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. The theme for this year's series is "Mighty This Love," named for one of Mayer's compositions (Listen to a special welcome message from Mayer).
“Follow me to the place where dreams come true
Follow me and we can see this through
Follow me until the end
on this you can depend
Follow me and I will follow you.”
—Lyrics from "Follow Me," by Roger Guth, Peter Mayer, and Jim Mayer
On this day in 1980 Oscar Romero, archbishop of San Salvador, was assassinated.
I’ve posted a picture from Westminster Abbey of some modern martyrs: Martin Luther King, Jr., Romero, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. These three followed Jesus with such intensity and passion that it cost them their lives. They were and are witnesses to the transforming love of God.
About 20 years ago, I was serving as an associate pastor in Wichita, Kansas. I was able to learn about Bread for the World from some wonderful Methodist and Mennonite clergy and lay people. I had a pretty good understanding of Methodism, but I didn’t know too much about the Mennonites. I quickly learned that Lutherans had not always been very kind to their Anabaptist brothers and sisters. I purchased a book, A Third Way, by Paul M. Lederach. One day when I was reading it, these words from Menno Simons caught my eye and my heart:
“Just as natural bread has to be kneaded of many kernels of grain broken in the mill, together with water and then baked by the heat of the fire, in the same way the church of Christ is made up of many believers, broken in their hearts by the mill of God’s word, baptized with water by the Holy Spirit, and brought together in one body by pure and unadulterated love at the Lord’s table.”
As Wesley once wrote, “I felt my heart strangely warmed.”
Yesterday afternoon, we had an event at church where the young families could bake pretzels with me. Prior to making and baking the pretzels we gathered together in a big circle and shared in the Lord’s Supper. It was just as Menno Simons wrote: “[B]rought together in one body by pure and unadulterated love at the Lord’s table.”
Pretzels are a symbol of the Trinity. They are fun to bake. Great to eat. And even more wonderful to share with family, friends, neighbors and even strangers.
I’m humbled and honored this day to be surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.
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