First, a Lutheran you don’t know, but probably should!
A Lutheran Chaplain, a man of action, Chaplain William J. Reiss saved many lives by simply praying the Lord’s prayer. It is my prayer that I would exhibit the same bravery if ever called upon. (This is from the book “They Shall Not March Alone”, a compendium of LCMS Chaplain stories no longer published by CPH).
Approaching Berlin, Germany: Early Spring 1945–Chaplain William J. Reiss shares an amazing story of the power of the Lord’s Prayer in a German soldier’s life.
I was with the 101st Airborne Division. We were in a small village and had suffered many casualties. A medical officer and I were in a basement with the casualties when the enemy began reattacking. Following orders to withdraw, the walking wounded left the collecting station, but 45 or 50 wounded couldn’t be moved. One young doctor and I decided to remain with these men and to chance being captured.
We heard the enemy advancing, throwing grenades into the windows and basements of buildings that were still standing. When I heard one explode nearby, I suggested we all pray the Lord’s Prayer. As we began to pray, I looked up and saw a German soldier with a grenade in his hand standing near our basement window. All the glass had been blown out. I closed my eyes and continued with the prayer, thinking “Well, this is it. God will be with me; God will help me and these wounded too.”
It seemed I had my eyes closed for an awfully long time. When we prayed “and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” I looked up. The German soldier, instead of throwing the grenade, was on his knees, his head bowed. I could hear him say in German. “Vergib uns unsere Schuld so wie wir vergeben unsern Schuldigern. ” He stayed there until the prayer was finished. Then he got up, threw the grenade harmlessly aside, and walked on.
Later that afternoon our troops came back, retook the village and released us. Several months later, at a POW camp not far from Berchtesgaden, I visited some German chaplains. One lad there asked to see me. The guard brought him out. “You don’t remember me?” he asked.
“No I don’t.”
“Do you remember the soldier who fell on his knees before the basement window where you were with many wounded people? That was me. I learned the Lord’s Prayer when I was small, and I’d forgotten about it. But I remembered it in German. Something took hold of me and all I could do was kneel and pray with you. And for you. And now I would like to become a minister.”
I arranged for him to be released from camp, and he began studies for the ministry in the Evangelkche Lutherische Kirche.
God’s Word is powerful-very powerful indeed!
Now, the Carnival
(Some of the posts already have lively comment sections. I believe comments from blog readers greatly enhance posts–since it’s winter and we’re indoors a bit more, how about a flurry of comments?)
Sin is no longer a problem for me! Take a look a little further down in my blog to find out more!
Here’s one I accidentally missed. A new contributor, Inside Chris’s Head, gives a multi-media flair to the Carnival. He shares a podcast on Why Bad Things Happen to Good People. (I guess being in Silicon Valley helps in having a good server! I was able to download the 10mb podcast in 12 seconds–in Japan!)
I can see CLEARly now. Kelly Klages provides a post including three cards: baptism, Reformation Day, and General Purpose. Click here to see the cards, a brief discussion of how each was made and links to most of the materials used.
After reading her specialty blog above, also take a look at Kelly’s blog: “Kelly’s Blog” especially this post “Indeed? She examines the problematic assumpitons of a Christianity Today/Zondervan study. The study examined “5 Kinds of Christians”: including “active”, “professing”, and “liturgical”. Kelly especially addresses the assertion that those who don’t believe that “accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior” is the true heart of Christianity don’t have Jesus at the center of their faith.
Pick up a smooth stone of truth or two or five over at Cyberstones. We have an excellent essay from Pastor Petersen on the meaning of life in which we read that forgiveness isn’t all it is sometimes made out to be. Also take a look at The Keeping of Cats and the Hiddenness of Christ. This post has generated one of the most entertaining “comments” discussion I’ve seen on a Lutheran blog!
“A sword in the hat is better than a foot in the mouth.” See why at the very active thinking out loud. We were referred to a post written by Pastor Stuckwisch regarding the Penitential character of Advent. If you’ve ever wondered why the altar is decorated in purple for advent, you’ll want to click through!
Dan continues the discussion on Advent. He relates an explanation for the removal of Alleluia’s from Matins and Vespers for Advent. He spells it out at Necessary Roughness!
Wow! I’m done! This was an active Carnival–thank you everyone for posting! Perhaps we’ll see some active blogs over the next few days as the Midwest storm keeps people hunkered down. Stay safe!