Text: Psalm 107:1-9, 33-37
There have been two times in my life when, out of intense fear, I sought a deal with God. The first was on a Russian Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Vladivostok going to adopt Nora. Not sure the plane would survive takeoff, I prayed feverishly making all kinds of deals with God, while frantically rubbing my prayer beads. Once the plane reached altitude and it was obvious that I had survived takeoff, I spent the next eight and a half hours (yes, it is an eight and half hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok) of that flight making deal after deal. God if you let me land safely in Vladivostok, then…God if you let me land safely in Vladivostok, then… Over and over I repeated this phrase making my deal with God. The second time I did this, well…I will save that one for another sermon.
I was reminded of my deal-making with God when I reread the story of how Martin Luther entered a monastery and from there became one of the great leaders in the Protestant Reformation. As the story goes, in July of 1505, at age 22, Luther—the son of a copper miner—was caught in a horrific thunderstorm. Afraid that he was going to die, he screamed out a vow, “Save me, St. Anna, and I shall become a monk.” St. Anna was the mother of the Virgin Mary and the patron saint of miners. Just days later, on July 17th, Luther entered the Augustinian Monastery at Erfurt, Germany.