To help start off the new year, we’ve asked ELCA pastors from across the country to recommend their favorite inspirational quotes. We hope that they help you in your spiritual journey through 2013. Feel free to share these!
“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.” — Karl Barth (Abraham Allende, Lutheran Church of the Covenant, Maple Heights, Ohio)
“Faith is a living, bold trust in God’s grace, so certain of God’s favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God’s grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures.” — Martin Luther (Fritz Wendt, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, New York, N.Y.)
“Too many people use the Bible the way a drunk uses the lamp post, for support rather than illumination.” — W.S. Coffin (Dan Bollerud, Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, Anchorage, Alaska)
“Silence is the mystery of the world to come. Speech is the organ of this present world. More than all things love silence: it brings you a fruit that the tongue cannot describe.” — Issac of Ninive (Sondra Krogstad, Advent Lutheran Church, St. Cloud, Minn.)
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” — Shakespeare (Bill Mosley, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Cat Spring, Texas)
“You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” — St. Augustine (Pari Bailey, Grace Lutheran Church, Belview, Minn.)
“We are all words spoken by God and our calling is to learn how to pronounce ourselves.” — Thomas Merton (Adrianne Meier, Trinity Lutheran Church, Malinta, Ohio)
“Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.” — Henri J.M. Nouwen (Keith Spencer, Trinity Lutheran Church, Pembroke Pines, Fla.)
“So at the end of this day, we give thanks for being betrothed to the unknown.” — John O’Donohue (Scott Alan Johnson, St. Petri Lutheran Church, Story City, Iowa)
“Go to the people. Live with them, learn from them, love them. Start with what they know, build with what they have. But of the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say “we have done this ourselves.” — Lao-Tzu (Justin Grimm, Advent Lutheran Church, Lake Ann, Mich.)
“Do your little bit of good where you are. It’s those little bits that overwhelm the world.” — Desmond Tutu (Tim Seitz-Brown, Paradise Lutheran Church, Thomasville, Pa.)
“Do, or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda (Chris Duckworth, Grace Lutheran Church, St. Paul, Minn.)
As we venture into the new year, remember the words of Jesus: “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” — (Matthew 22:36-40).