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Lenten Devotions: "Joy Cubed"

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).

This post is reprinted, with permission, from Glusenkamp's site, h20 devos. Audio podcast versions of the daily devotionals are also available.

March 27, 2014

Psalm_book"These days of winter have come to bury you
No sign of spring and no promise to carry you
No flowers blooming in your window sill
And the beat of your heart is too still...
And the beat of your heart is too still... Oh sing

Joy, joy,joy in the morning
Joy, joy in the afternoon
Joy, joy,joy for the child is born
This night the promise is given to you."

—Lyrics from "Sing Joy," by Peter Mater

My friend Irene's funeral was yesterday. About 18 of us gathered around her three adult children to celebrate her life. Irene was born in Bavaria, and was 5 years old when Hitler came to power. Her childhood was much different than those of most people I know. She liked to recite her Confirmation passage for me "auf Deutsch."

"Befiehl dem HERRN deine Wege und hoffe auf ihn; er wird's wohl machen."

"Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act."

(Psalm 37:5)

Her life wasn't an easy life, but she had deep joy in her soul and heart. Whenever I would visit her, we would talk about art, music, theology, and wood carvings. One of Bethany's Caring Visitors, Helen, calculated that she had visited Irene approximately 90 times. Caring Visitors at our church bring the sacrament to members who are homebound. Helen brought Irene joy, and I know Irene brought joy to Helen, as well.

The Psalm book at the top of the page is one that I purchased one day when Peter Mayer and I were browsing around guitar shops, bookstores, and coffee shops.

The book is open to Psalm 33, which I like to think of as some of the inspiration for Peter's song "Sing Joy."

"Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous.
Praise befits the upright. Praise the LORD with the lyre;
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings. Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. For the word of the LORD is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
and all their host by the breath of his mouth."


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