August 2020


Testing the Church


The famous American evangelist, Billy Sunday (1862–1935), used to say that being in a garage doesn’t make you a car – and neither does being in a church building make you a Christian (Billy Sunday, The Sawdust Trail, 2005).

     That’s because Christian identity comes from within – from the faith that we have in Christ. It doesn’t come from our surroundings – for the kingdom of God dwells within us (Luke 17:21). That’s where faith and love generate.

     So is it hard on you not going to church? If so, why? Do you feel like you’re getting short-changed? Is the Word of God without the many accoutrements found in our buildings, puny and unable to sustain you (contra Isaiah 50:4)?

     Luther believed that what makes Sundays holy is not worshipping in a church building. No, it is only God’s Word that is holy. Therefore “any conduct or work done apart from God’s Word is unholy in the sight of God, no matter how splendid and brilliant it may appear, or even if it be altogether covered with holy relics” (The Book of Concord, ed. Tappert, p. 377).

     This pandemic – this time of exile for the Church from its buildings – is a test (2 Corinthians 13:5, James 1:12). Can we cling to God’s Word and be sustained by it without our church buildings being opened? Our webpage online worship; home distribution of Holy Communion; The Messenger Bible studies; our Zoom Bible studies; our Zoom book discussions; our Zoom council meetings – all are designed to sustain you with the Word of God outside the church buildings. Pray that all of us pass this test.

  Pastor Marshall


PRESIDENT'S Cary Natiello


Our Midyear Congregational meeting is Sunday August 2, at 11 a.m. and will be conducted via ZOOM.  By now you should have received the meeting materials either via email or in the US mail.  If you have not, please contact Sonja, Parish Secretary. 

     Rather than going over our YTD (Jan – Jun) finances in this report, please refer to the midyear meeting materials.  Also, please note the Executive Committee statement on continuing staff salaries.

     On NPR Sunday morning (July 12), I listened to Epidemiologist Alison Galvani of Yale University talk about her study 'Silent Spreaders'.  Silent spreaders are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people that may be responsible for half (50%) of U.S. COVID-19 cases.  She explained that most commonly, people with infectious diseases are most contagious when they show symptoms, but COVID-19 infected people may not show symptoms for 2-3 days and yet are very contagious during that time.  Making matters worse, many people never show symptoms at all, but they can still spread the disease.  New estimates from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state at least 40% of people who get the virus might not show any symptoms, meaning thousands of Americans could be unknowingly infecting others.  For us, it means a person showing no symptoms, or who does not have a fever, does little to identify an infected person who is capable of easily spreading the disease.  It is important for us to understand how this information might impact our ability to safely resume indoor worship services. 

     In the Midyear Congregation meeting materials we included the five criteria that must be met before we can resume indoor services, and I encourage you to review them.  Over the past three meetings, the church council has been grappling with how and when to resume indoor worship services.  Our conversations have focused primarily on State and local requirements for safely resuming indoor services, however, the COVID-19 environment and State and local guidelines continue to evolve.  Due to this very dynamic and ever-changing environment, it is difficult for the council to nail down specific policies and/or procedures because the requirements are likely to change in the future.  Unfortunately, at this time, we are not confident we can meet any of our five criteria because of recent trends of new cases in King County, and because of that, it is doubtful we will be able to resume indoor worship services anytime soon.

     Here are some other questions you may be asking yourself about worship services, and corresponding answers:


1)     Why aren’t we streaming worship services via the web like other churches?

     a.      Streaming a mock service is inconsistent with our Worship Service guidelines (please see OUR WORSHIP SERVICES statement below).  When we are able to resume indoor services, our hope is that we can provide them online.

2)     Why don’t we hold outdoor services in our parking lot?

     a.      Holding outdoor worship services is inconsistent with our Worship Service guide

lines (please see OUR WORSHIP SERVICES statement below).

1)     Can we at least provide Holy Communion in the parking lot?

     a.      Conducting Holy Communion via the parking lot is inconsistent with our Worship Service guidelines (please see OUR WORSHIP SERVICES statement below), however, Pastor Marshall is providing the Lord’s Supper for us to administer by ourselves at home as the Reserved Sacrament.

Aren’t the online liturgies also inconsistent with our Worship Service guidelines?

     a.      In lieu of our time together due to the stay-at-home orders issued by our government, we have put our worshiping, studying and serving in abeyance.  For now, Pastor Marshall is able to offer written abbreviated online liturgies. They are not equivalent to, or considered to be, a normal worship service, but they still have value. 

Will our congregation have to wait to resume indoor services until there is a vaccine?

     a.      This has not been decided, nor is a vaccine mentioned in our 5 criteria.

Why is one of the 5 criteria that a super majority must vote to resume indoor worship services, of which pastor Marshall must be one?

     a.      Because resuming indoor worship services may put our staff and our congregational members in harm’s way, we believe a clear majority of the council is necessary to make and support that decision.

     b.     Ultimately, it is Pastor Marshall’s responsibility to ensure that resuming indoor services is consistent with our mission of faith, and that we can adhere to our church service requirements.

 What are other churches in our local community doing?

     a.      Most, if not all, ELCA churches in southwest King County probably will not open until there is a vaccine and/or treatment for COVID-19 (following the national trend, see The Christian Century, July 29, 2020, pp. 15-16).


OUR WORSHIP SERVICES (Taken from, Worship, based on our Mission Statement.)


We worship in the ancient, historical patterns that Christians have handed down through the centuries.  We celebrate the Lord’s Supper at both of our liturgies on Sunday mornings, and on Wednesdays every week of the year.  This is the way Christ wanted us to remember him on the Lord’s Day.

     Our prayer together is always liturgical, following the historical forms of the Church.  We read Holy Scriptures as they are appointed in the Lectionary.  The sermon explains those readings in terms of the Law and Gospel.  In this we rely on Martin Luther's (1483-1546) understanding of Christ's mission and life.

     Our hymns and choral music reinforce the Scriptures read, proclaimed and prayed in our worship.  This supports the solemnity of our praise to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Historical vestments and traditional rituals also contribute to the richness of worship.  All our corporate worship is offered within the consecrated walls of our church which is deemed God's holy and sacred house of prayer.


     Please be safe, stay healthy, wear a mask when in public, pray for each other and pray that soon we will be able to come together in our beautiful church and worship God together again.


Luther on Samson


By Pastor Marshall


Judges 15:15 is one of the most famous verses about Samson – “He found a fresh jawbone of an ass, and put out his hand and seized it, and with it he killed a thousand Philistine soldiers” – fierce enemies of Israel. This episode made Martin Luther gasp – “I often wonder about the example of Samson,” he notes. “Human strength couldn’t do what he did,” he adds. Plus Samson was disobedient and didn’t deserve this stunning, barbaric victory. Therefore Luther concludes that there must have been “a strong forgiveness of sins in his case” (Luther’s Works 54:79). Huge power, then, accompanies forgiveness – something often missed. And Samson believes God gave him this power – even though he confesses this late (Judges 15:16 vs Judges 15:18) (David Grossman, Lion’s Honey: The Myth of Samson, 2006, p. 99). Even so, I think Luther would agree that this belated confession shows that “at least a bit of faith in and respect for God lies buried in Samson’s troubled breast” (Trent C. Butler, Judges, 2009, p. 344).


First Time English Translations of

Martin Luther’s Writings

by Pastor Marshall


Volume 73 of Luther’s Works has just been published. It contains nine disputations from 1537–1545 – never before translated into English. Topics covered have to do with the law, the church, repentance, the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Trinity. Among my favorite selections are the following: “If there is no sin,… there is also no Christ as Redeemer from sin” (55); “The Law is never abolished in eternity” (56); “Christ rightly says to all His own… that their whole life is one of repentance” (57); “The entire Church… must continually repent” (58); “The impenitence of the secure is contempt for God” (60); “Grace and the forgiveness of sin…. make us more diligent [in our battle against sin]” (62); “The teaching of the Law is necessary in the churches” (66); “There are two things that are set before us in God’s Word: God’s wrath or God’s grace, sin or righteousness, death or life, hell or heaven. These things are clear and certain” (69); “Human nature has been so corrupted… that it neither comprehends the magnitude of sin nor feels and dreads the punishment of sin, God’s wrath and eternal death” (70); “I do not convert anyone by the power of my preaching unless God is present” (75); “God turns to repentance whom He wills, when He wills” (75); “All have the Gospel, but not all have faith” (75); “The Law [is] the word of the eternal and omnipotent God who is fire in the conscience” (76); “The law… reduces human beings to nothing, condemns them, and drives [impellit] them to seek help from Christ” (77); “When Christ is present, the Law loses its power” (78); “The Law… is necessary…. because of the stubborn and callous so that they can be coerced” (79); “The Law…. makes human beings humble” (82); “We must… be most diligent in impressing on people that God is angry with sin and punishes it with the greatest severity” (86); “Those who believe… begin to hate sin sincerely; to recognize this immense, incomprehensible, and ineffable gift [of Christ’s sacrifice for sin]; to give thanks for it; to love, worship, and call on God; and to expect everything from Him” (86); “The Law kills through its impossibility” (87); “The great majority of people do not accept [Christ’s] authority” (88); “We... are laggards [who persecute Christ, the] sweetest Fulfiller of the Law” (89); “Christ… makes the Law… delightful and sweet” (90); “The Law does not reprove sins without the Holy Spirit” (90); “It is perilous… to search out… the naked divinity by means of reason, without Christ the Mediator” (91); “The delusions of Satan… so fascinate the minds of human beings that they embrace [these] lies as… supreme wisdom” (92); “We die to sin through Christ, who was made a sacrifice for sin and thereby killed sin so that it is no longer able to rule in us” (94); “[Our] nature, having been… depraved by original sin, is already on its own more than disposed toward sinning” (99); “Because there [are] hard and impenitent people in the churches, we must repeatedly and diligently drive home…. God’s wrath threatening the destruction of the whole world” (100); “There is no greater sin than unbelief” (101); “[If threats fail], we should see whether we can bend [the hardened] by means of God’s promises and gifts” (102); “We [are] commanded to teach that all are transgressors of the Law and under sin and that those who want to be freed… should believe in Christ” (104); “Only a few are struck by the Law… and obey the Gospel” (105); “The Law… deals with us very harshly” (106); “[The words in John 16:33 are the] sweetest words in the Gospel” (110); “We should run to Christ in faith [ad Christum fide]” (110); “The Decalogue is [noble] because it drew down Christ from heaven” (112); “The true knowledge of God and… eternal salvation [are not] easily recovered things” (117); “Exercise yourselves in the Holy Scriptures… so that [you] may abide firm and tranquil” (118); “God is angry with all human beings because no one offers to God that obedience which He requires” (119); “We are not all called to Christ in the same way” (120); “God… humbles human beings with the Law and drives them to despair, not in order to destroy them but so that He may kill their presumption and then console and restore them again. A preacher may also do the same” (121); “Christ… shouts out: ‘I’m death’s death, hell’s hell, and the devil’s devil…. Do not be afraid, My son, I have conquered’” (122); “It is… extremely difficult to act as a pastor and… to exercise the care of souls” (124); “Christ swallows up our sin in His body and removes the rod of the exactor” (125); “[We are] headstrong, proud, ignorant, and deceitful, unbridled, and haughty” (126); “Christ has taken our place, and He makes good what we lack and by His blood erases the… decree that stood against us, until finally the Law has been satisfied by one in the place of us all” (127); “The Law does not make me a better person; it does not make me loving or hopeful or obedient. Indeed, it cannot. For by itself it cannot do anything but afflict, ruin, and alarm consciences” (134); “The Gospel… makes a robber a pedagogue [LW 37:101] and carries off those killed by the Law and leads them back to Christ” (135); “On the Last Day…. Christ, the Lord, will transport us to heaven; we will not do it ourselves” (136); “No one gives thanks; no one becomes better because of God’s great goodness. If anything, they become worse…. We have become foolish through our own wisdom…. Our nature is evil and corrupt” (137); “The Law [leaves you not knowing] where to turn…. ‘I’m done for! I’m lost! I’m finished! God doesn’t want me!... He hates me!’” (142); “Your heart seethes with countless horrible passions… against God. [So even though you] do splendid works, which are great and useful,… since you do them with an impure heart and spirit,… out of self-love and fear of punishment, you have not satisfied [God]” (145); “Christ cannot be understood apart from sin” (147); “We are unable to reach life [by keeping the commandments]” (150); “God turns all things into nothing, and out of nothing He makes all things [ex nihilo facere omnia et omnibus nihil]” (151); “The Law should not be removed from the churches” (153); “Faith alone does everything” (159); “God wants us to be strong soldiers against the sin that… clings to our flesh” (165); “The Church in this life is called militant, not triumphant” (168); “The Church needs the Law… to restrain the ungodly, as if by chains, but also to… reprove the godly” (171); “The one who fights and does not allow himself to be conquered or ruled by sin is and is called a Christian because of faith in Christ…. I implore you to learn this well” (175); “Here we do indeed begin to die, but only in the grave is it completed, and sin does not cease without natural death. The ungodly, however, are not troubled by this,… they continue doing what they do without taking any thought for sin. Therefore, they die only to nature, and then in an eternal death” (177); “A Christian is not in this present age; he does not live; he has died, and he dwells in another life, a heavenly life, far above this one” (183); “The Christian is free by faith, but as far as the flesh is concerned, he is a slave of sin. Yet these things, though contraries, are nevertheless reconciled in the Christian because the same Christian is saint and sinner, dead and alive, all sin and no sin; hell and heaven are correlatives.” (185); “It is such a great sin that I have not acknowledged [the] great blessings of Christ, who suffered for me! Alas! Poor me!” (193); “If the Law is removed, sin is also removed, and if sin is removed, Christ is removed” (197); “Christ is the workman [operarium] for our sins” (199); “Our nature is totally corrupt” (204); “Faith… must be certain” (204); “The point of making death and wrath manifest is… that… you might flee to Christ [ad Christum confugias]” (207); “There are two kinds of people in the world: the poor, weak, and godly (or those who desire to be godly); and the rich or healthy (that is, the ungodly and secure scoundrels)” (211); “What sin is greater than ingratitude, especially toward God?” (215); “We are always sleeping…. Therefore, we must be roused by the Law” (223); “A command of God should take precedence… over the law of nature” (225); “God’s Law cannot be silenced. [It would be] the same as telling fire not to burn” (229); “The Law should still be preached to [those who have a good conscience] and trouble them, though [they’re] in Christ” (231); “A heretic [is] one who understands the Scriptures otherwise than the Holy Spirit demands” (259); “[May we] learn the substance and manner of speaking of Scripture (LW 25:261]” (261); “The Church exists in the world but is not the world itself, nor does she live according to the world” (302); “Against doubt, the Holy Spirit works certainty in us through the Gospel…. Faith has doubt opposing and rebelling against it” (304); “God did not make doubt. Doubt was not created but comes with our corrupted nature” (312); “Where the Word is, there is the Church” (316); “The Church never has and never will exist except under adversaries” (321); “No human mind understands how great an evil sin is” (332); “If a human being were to feel the magnitude of sin, he would not survive for one moment, so great is the power that sin has” (337); “To love God and the neighbor freely and steadfastly is equivalent to raising the dead” (377); “We do not understand how Christ deals with infants” (384); “A Christian…. must fight against doubt” (392); “There is nothing accidental in God” (411); “Faith is not knowledge of the sort that also exists in the devils” (429); “Death [has] been abolished… from us, although we still are stuck in this flesh” (443); “The term ‘Trinity’ provokes strange thoughts” (489); “One must not charge right in like a pig in the mud, inventing opinions with obstinacy and rashness” (525); “God does not shove the soul into the body the way farmers put grain into a sack. Instead, He breathes internally, and when the soul is in the body, the hand, foot, and mouth move” (528); “No living thing has as much horror toward death as man has” (533); “God created man upright so that he would live forever, but he fell from this blessedness through sin” (533); “The devil… is prince of this world. Therefore, must he be obeyed? A fine conclusion!” (539).


 Job 21.15

Monthly Home Bible Study, August 2020, Number 330

The Reverend Ronald F. Marshall


Along with our other regular study of Scripture, let us join as a congregation in this home study. We will study alone then talk informally about the assigned verses together as we have opportunity. In this way we can “gather together around the Word” even though physically we will not be getting together (Acts 13.44). (This study uses the RSV translation.)

     We need to support each other in this difficult project. In 1851 Kierkegaard wrote that the Bible is “an extremely dangerous book.... [because] it is an imperious book... – it takes the whole man and may suddenly and radically change... life on a prodigious scale” (For Self-Examination). And in 1967 Thomas Merton wrote that “we all instinctively know that it is dangerous to become involved in the Bible” (Opening the Bible). Indeed this word “kills” us (Hosea 6.5) because we are “a rebellious people” (Isaiah 30.9)! As Lutherans, however, we are still to “abide in the womb of the Word” (Luther's Works 17.93) by constantly “ruminating on the Word” (LW 30.219) so that we may “become like the Word” (LW 29.155) by thinking “in the way Scripture does” (LW 25.261). Before you study then, pray: “Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in Our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen” (quoted in R. F. Marshall, Making A New World: How Lutherans Read the Bible, 2003, p. 12). And don’t give up, for as Luther said, we “have in Scripture enough to study for all eternity” (LW 75:422)!


Week I. Read Job 21.15 noting the words serve and profit. Why does Job ask these loaded, cynical questions about God? On this read Job 3.26 noting the phrase but trouble comes. Why is this a problem? Check out Job 9.11 noting the words passes and see, and Job 10.12–13 noting the words care and yet. Has God dropped the ball and failed to deliver the help he has promised? Read also Job 16.9 noting the word hated rather than helped. Note also the word wrath against Job in Job 19.11. Job wishes he could get God to change his ways and help him out again – but Job 23.13 says that’s impossible – noting the words unchangeable and turn. Is Job then stuck with no divine help? On this read Job 24.12 noting the line the wounded cries for help; yet God pays no attention to their prayer. What then? Read Job 26.14 noting the phrase the outskirts of his ways. What does that mean? Check out Job 26.7–13 noting the verbs stretches, hangs, binds, covers, spreads, rebuke, stilled, smote and pierced. If God can do all of this, can’t he also help out Job? If so, why doesn’t he? Do the words disciplines and chastises in Hebrews 12.6 help?


Week II. Read again Job 21.15 noting the same two words serve and profit. Does God reward our service with profit? On this read John 16.33 noting the word tribulation. Does that mean that God won’t get us out of messes? On this read Romans 8.18 noting the contrast between sufferings now and the glories to come in heaven. Why draw this contrast? Check on 2 Corinthians 4.17–18 noting the words beyond and transient. Why are our troubles in this life trivialized like this? On this note the better country in Hebrews 11.16, and the lasting city in Hebrews 13.14. What makes them so much better? On this read Revelation 21.4 noting the absence of tears, death and pain. How is heaven free of these troubles? On this note the line destroy… the power of death in Hebrews 2.14. Why is that earthly victory over death reversed for those in heaven only? On this read Luke 16.26 noting the great chasm between heaven and hell. That divide protects heaven from any contamination from hell. That makes it a safe place for deathlessness to abide in glory. 2 Corinthians 4.4 says that in this world the devil is God. That makes this place crooked and perverse according to Philippians 2.15.


Week III. Reread Job 21.15 noting the word Almighty. What is the answer to Job’s question? On this read Ezekiel 36.22 noting the line it is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act. Why does God help us but not for our advantage? Read Isaiah 55.9 noting the word higher. That vast difference between God and creation minimizes creation. Is that why we are compared to worms in Psalm 22.6 and a sparrow in Matthew 10.31? Why aren’t we compared to a mighty bear or a fierce lion? God is in Amos 5.19 and Hosea 13.8. Can’t we be too if we are created in his image according Genesis l.26? But do we still have it? On this read Ephesians 2.3 noting the line by nature children of wrath. Note also Seth being born in the image and likeness of Adam, not God, in Genesis 5.3. Is it because of this loss that the distance is now so extreme between the Creator and the creatures in Romans 1:25?


Week IV. Read Job 21.15 one last time noting the word pray. Is prayer a means by which we get whatever we want from God? On this read Matthew 6.10 noting the line thy will be done. Why would we say that when we are asking for what we want? Read in this regard Hebrews 12.11 noting the phrase seems painful. Because of our perceptual limitations, we can’t see the value in suffering the way God can – which makes his choices for us better. Read also Proverbs 19.21 noting the contract between our plans and God’s purposes. His purposes take into account more than our plans do, so God’s will is again to be preferred. Also check out Isaiah 5.20 about how we mix up good and evil, unlike God who, according to James 1.17 is perfectly good.



Please note… The church council has decided that this year’s Mid-Year Congregational meeting will be conducted online via ZOOM MEETINGS.  The meeting will be at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 2, 2020.  Meeting materials will be sent via email to those that have email, and for those who do not, the materials will be mailed through the US Mail.  With the materials, we will include the meeting invite link, and the meeting ID and password.  Instructions for how to dial in to the meeting will be provided. 

     Pastor Marshall’s Bible Studies on Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm are well attended.  “WITH THE MIND” book club (Black Like Me by John Griffin, 1962) is planned for Sunday, August 23rd, 3:30 pm, and the KORAN Class ($20) will start on Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30 pm on the 5th of August, through the 26th.  All of these classes are via ZOOM, please contact him so he can send you a link, so you can get in on them.

Lillian Schneider (1918-2020) with Pastor Marshall

in a Zoom photo 10 days before she died on July 9.





The Apostle Saint Paul


“Complete my joy by being of the same

mind,… being in full accord and of one mind”



by Pastor Marshall


Martin Luther believed that this verse was “the sum and substance of the kind of outward life” that all Christians should live – sharing in the “unity of spirit,” and being of “one conviction.” He was convinced that this was “a powerful, noteworthy word,” and that all Christians “should understand it well” (Luther’s Works 30:94) – for “this equality of heart and mind can unite all external inequality in the world” (LW 78:189). Not surprisingly, then, Luther extends his concern to corporate worship, believing that “as far as possible we should observe the same rites and ceremonies, just as all Christians have the same baptism and the same sacrament of the altar” (LW 53:61). This teaching was central to him because he believed that it was “directed against opinionated, hard-headed, stiff-necked people, whom in popular language we call blockheads….. We all are strongly inclined to this fault with a strange propensity, and most rare is the man who does not possess it. [Due to this fault, we] yield to the advice of no one, even though we are convinced by the reasoning. And even if one uses the opposite method, they still remain adamant and wait for the chance to rejoice and laugh if the advice of others proves wrong. These people are the authors of contention and the most effective disturbers of the peace and the destroyers of spiritual unity” (LW 25:464). “Each one seeks his own honor, glory, and advantage, and wants to be seen as soaring over others…. That is why the world is full of… schismatic spirits, and there is no one who does not want to be master of all others” (LW 76:339). As a result, even Christians “are embittered by this quarreling… and are bitten and eaten up with hatred, envy, and other vices, so that love grows cold and faith is extinguished” (LW 79:151). So the stakes are very high!

     What defiles the body of Christ – robbing it of its desired unity – is “the selfish eye, the pompous mind, the ear hungry for compliments and the mouth that [speaks] none, the heart that [has] little room for others, and the hand that serves only the self” (Fred Craddock, Philippians, 1987, p. 38). No wonder the unity sought here seems to have “sublime ambiguity,” for it can mean “be like-minded, but also, poetically, have one focus, that is, Christ” (Bonnie B. Thurston, Philippians, 2009, p. 74). This ambiguity serves the solution by allowing for some variations. So Christian unity is not about having “the same opinion on every subject. Life would be very flat and dull without the give-and-take practiced when variety of opinion and viewpoint provides scope for friendly discussion and debate” (F. F. Bruce, Philippians, 1989, p. 62). But this latitude cannot jeopardize the core of our faith. Then it would be going beyond the “scope for friendly discussion and debate.” Then it would be disrupting “good works,… faith and Baptism,… Sacrament, Christ, grace, and salvation,… preaching [and] absolution” (LW 78:188–89). Those all have to stand – regardless of how they’re understood. Luther had no problem with debating meaning. Disputations help Christians “learn how to give answer, to teach others, and to pass God’s doctrine on to our descendants in truth” (LW 73:431). We “must learn to give an account for our faith,… to stand [our] ground and give a reason…. If people refuse to believe, you should keep silence; for you have no obligation to force them to regard Scripture as God’s Book or Word. It is sufficient for you to base your proof on Scripture. This you must do” (LW 30:107).



The Body


“I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

(Psalm 139:14)


You don’t know how the body is formed in the mother’s womb.”

(Ecclesiastes 11:5)





“The eye is a thing of wonder…. About a third of your entire cerebral cortex is engaged with vision…. If you held a human eyeball in your hand, you might be surprised by its size because we only see about one-sixth of it when it is embedded in the eye socket…. The cornea… deserves a moment’s thanks…. This modest, dome-shaped goggle not only protects the eye from worldly assaults but actually does two-thirds of the eyeball’s focusing.

     The lens, which gets all the credit in the popular mind, does only about a third…. The cornea could hardly be less imposing. [It fits] on the tip of your finger…. It has five layers…. In order to be transparent, it has a very modest blood supply – indeed, practically none…. To keep all of this working smoothly,… we produce tears constantly…. You produce about five to ten ounces of tears a day…. The human eye can distinguish somewhere between 2 million and 7.5 million colors…. Even at the lower level of estimates, that is a lot…. The movements of the eye are called saccades… and you have about a quarter of a million of them every day without ever being aware of it…. All the never fibers leave the eye via a single channel at the back, resulting in a blind spot about fifteen degrees off center in our field of vision…. You don’t normally experience the blind spot, because your brain continually fills in the void for you. The process is called perceptual interpolation. The blind spot, it is worth noting, is much more than just a spot; it’s a substantial portion of your central field of vision. That’s quite remarkable – that a significant part of everything you ‘see’ is actually imagined. Victorian naturalists sometimes cited this as additional proof of God’s beneficence.”


[Bill Bryson, The Body: A Guide to Occupants (2019) pp. 80, 81, 82, 83, 84.]



Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made your

brothers and sisters through baptism.

Luke Douglass, Dorothy Ryder, Melanie Johnson, Janice Lundbeck, Joan Olson, Melissa Baker, Sam & Nancy Lawson, Pete Morrison, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Connor Bisticas, Eileen & Dave Nestoss, Kyra Stromberg, Tabitha Anderson, Diana Walker, The Rev. Albin Fogelquist, The Rev. Howard Fosser,  The Rev. Kari Reiten, The Rev. Dave Monson, The Rev. Dan Peterson, The Rev. Rick Reynolds, The Rev Alan Gardner, Eric Baxter, Sheila Feichtner, Yuriko Nishimura, Leslie Hicks, Mary Lou & Paul Jensen, Hillary Thoren, Lesa Christensen, Maggie & Glenn Willis, Evelyn, Emily & Gordon Wilhelm, Karen Berg, Bjorg Hestevold, Garrison Radcliffe, Antonio Ortez, Marv Morris, Noel Curtis, Randy Vater, Garrett Metzler, Doreen Phillips, Richard Patishnock, Jeff Hancock, John Paulson, Yao Chu Chang, Marie Magenta, Deanne Heflin, Mary Cardona, Carrie Jaecksch, Misty Bents, Holly Finan.

   Pray for our professional Health Care Providers:  Gina Allen, Janine Douglass, David

Juhl, Dana Kahn, Dean Riskedahl and all those suffering from the coronavirus pandemic. Also, pray for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused, harassed, and unemployed.

     Pray for the shut-ins that the light of Christ may give them joy:  Bob & Mona Ayer, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Joan Olson, Doris Prescott, C. J. Christian, Dorothy Ryder, Crystal Tudor, Nora Vanhala, Martin Nygaard, Gregg & Jeannine Lingle, Anelma Meeks.

     Pray for those who have suffered the death of a loved one:  Pray that God will bear their grief and lift their hearts:  Pray for the family and friends of Lillian Schneider who died on July 9th in Mountlake Terrace, WA, a couple of weeks after her 102nd birthday. 



Treasury of Prayer


Heavenly Father, teach me day by day to do your will. Give me that purity of conscience which alone can receive and build upon your revelation. My ears are dull, and so I don’t hear your Word. My eyes are dim, and so I miss your blessings. In your mercy quicken my hearing, purge my sight, and cleanse and renew my heart. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

[For All the Saints IV:1005, altered]