A theologian of the fifth century, Prosper of Aquitaine, is credited with having first spoken the words “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi.” It’s a Latin expression that means that the rule of prayer or of worship is the rule of faith. Liturgists throw around this expression. But you don’t have to be familiar with fifth-century theological thought to understand what Prosper was saying. The way we worship affects the way we believe. Or, to put it another way, practice teaches doctrine.

I was never taught the posture of prayer as a young child. I just watched my par-ents bow their heads when they prayed. So I learned to do that. They never ex-plained why they bowed. After 50 years of prayer I still bow my head. At some time, I suppose, I actually reflected upon the practice of my prayer posture. I fig-ured out that I bow my head as a sign of reverence. But I was not taught first to show reverence and then to bow my head. Rather, I learned a practice, and from that I learned doctrine.

I learned to pray in the name of Jesus long before I understood the atonement and certainly before I memorized the verse, “No one cometh unto the Father but by Me.” From before I can remember every prayer I ever heard contained the words “For Jesus’ sake” or “in Jesus’ name.” This phrase was part of the prayer practice modeled for me by my parents and Sunday school teachers. I was not first taught the doctrine of the exclusivity of Christ’s claims and His once-for-all atonement and then taught to pray. Rather, I learned the practice of prayer and, from that prac-tice, that you can’t even talk to God without Jesus.

No one taught me that Sunday was the Lord’s Day. I was simply brought to church on Sunday and my dad did not go to the office as he usually did. We had no school, and we always had a big dinner. I suppose the time came when I actually reflected on the importance of the Lord’s Day. I figured out that we needed a time to hear God’s Word and to rest. But I was not first taught to honor the Sabbath and then to take off work and go to church. Rather, a practice was modeled for me, and from that I learned the command to honor God’s Day and His Word.

I was never explicitly taught to respect the house of the Lord. I was simply given nice Sunday clothes to wear on Sundays. Others dressed up too. I was told not to run around in church or to shout and yell, and I was told to leave without tearing and weaving in and out of ambulatory traffic like we did at the baseball games. Something important was happening on Sunday mornings, and it was obvious from the change in behavior modeled for us . I was not first taught the power of the Word and then taught to act like I respected it. Rather, I was taught a prac-tice, and from that practice I learned respect of the Gospel.

I could give hundreds of examples of how I learned doctrine from practice. And each example probably happened for you too. We know from our own experiences what Prosper of Aquitaine said fifteen hundred years ago: the rule of prayer is the rule of doctrine. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi. Our practice teaches theology.

There is nothing in the Bible that says you have to bow your head in prayer, explic-itly mention the name of Jesus in prayer, observe Sunday as the day of rest, wear nice clothes to church, be quiet, or don’t run around. These are practices that teach. In fact, those things that we do habitually are usually the best teachers.

If the principle Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi applies to home devotional life, then cer-tainly it applies more obviously and importantly to the worship life of the church.
~ taken from The Fire and the Staff by Klemet Preus (Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO) 2004, pg.132-134.

One of the most popular programs on KNNA-LP 95.7 The Cross is The Word of the Lord Endures Forever. Pastor Will Weedon takes us verse by verse, in rapid speed and style, through the Bible. His knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and the Ancient Church Fathers shines through in this daily Bible study. Hear him at 10:30 am Monday—Thursday and other times throughout the week. If you are not able to receive KNNA on your radio, you can listen via the internet at www.thecross957.org. Thanks for listening!

In one of our previous newsletters, you read about the ballot initiative being pro-moted by a group of abortion advocates. Recently a counter initiative was unveiled that proposes to protect the lives of babies in the womb in the second and third tri-mesters, as well as the mothers who carry them. Both sides are currently collecting signatures to put their proposed constitutional amendments on the November bal-lot. IF enough signatures are collected, they will be assigned amendment numbers later this year.

Those supporting the pro-abortion initiative will use language that sounds like they are fighting for a woman’s right to receive healthcare and for bodily autonomy. However, the baby in the womb is not a body part of the woman but a separate hu-man being with completely distinct DNA from the moment of fertilization; it only needs time, nutrients and a safe environment in which to grow and develop — the same as the infant, toddler and grade school child. They will use scare tactics and misleading statements about the dangers women face because their doctors will be prevented from providing care for situations like miscarriages or ectopic pregnan-cies. This simply isn’t true. Abortion is not healthcare.

The pro-life ballot initiative attempts to provide true healthcare to both patients — mother and child. Rather than taking away “rights” of women, we work toward sup-porting them in numerous ways including referrals to pregnancy help centers.

The “Protect Women and Children” initiative says, “Except when a woman seeks an abortion necessitated by a medical emergency or when the pregnancy results from sexual assault or incest, unborn children shall be protected from abortion in the second and third trimester.” Nebraska Right to Life supports this incremental step toward its goal of protecting all life from conception to natural death.

If you would like to sign the petition to have this initiative on the ballot in November, please contact either Sandy Langemeier or Lyn Heng.

STEWARDSHIP MOMENT— Luke 6: 40 “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teach-er.” This statement is the key to understanding all of sanctification (how we are made holy): It starts with Jesus. He has redeemed us by His sacrifice on the cross, and now we are to follow Him We are to grow into the image of God, to be like our Teacher, Lord, and King Jesus. We learn generosity from the one who gave His all for our sake. How is the Lord calling you to imitate His generosity in your callings in home, church and society?

Sometimes testifying to the sanctity of life means confronting uncomfortable truths. Jesus speaks with just such courage to three whole cities in Luke 10: 13-15. And in Galatians 6: 1, St. Paul explains the ultimate purpose of warn-ing against sin: to restore and redeem a treas-ured neighbor with faith and forgiveness even for abortion or assisted suicide.

Register online to be a donor on Friday, June 21st. The blood draw will be at Good Shepherd in the fellowship hall from 8 am — 2 pm. Schedule your appt. to donate at Red-CrossBlood.org and enter Good Shepherd Lutheran.

Our project for the month of June will be to collect funds to purchase materials and food for Vacation Bible School in Venezuela. The children will be provided with materials to learn about Jesus and food to nourish their bodies. For more information, talk with Ramon Marcano. It is hard for us living in American to imagine how difficult life can be in some other countries. Please pray about this opportunity to share what we have with others who are not so fortunate and to teach them about a God who loves them.