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How Do You Hear?

One of the exciting things about being a little Lutheran girl was getting to be an acolyte. I got to wear a white robe, carry a candle, and walk in procession to the altar to the music of the massive pipe organ. Once in front, I carefully lit the candles behind the altar, or at least I think I lit them. (I don’t really remember that part.) What I clearly remember is that after singing hymns, chanting Psalms, and hearing the Scriptures read and taught, at the close of the service I would take a long-handled brass snuffer and carefully snuff out the flames of those candles. After all the people left, I would return the white robe to a hidden room, join my parents outside, and return to life in the real world.

In Luke 8, when Jesus explains the meaning of the Parable of the Sower for his disciples, he adds a statement which I always considered a strange non-sequitur:
“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter m…

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