New Church Life March/April 2017 - Page 86

‘Lead Us and Guide Us, Lord’ Naomi (Scott) Reid “Lead us and guide us, Lord, in paths of peace. Put forth Thy mighty hand for our release. Turning our hearts to Thee, drawn by Thy love, seeking from sin to flee, true may we prove. Meekly to bear Thy cross, though the world frown; winning through pain and loss, heaven’s shining crown.” T his beautiful hymn is one of my favorites that we sing in the New Church. I love the music which was written by Beethoven and the words which were written by Evelyn E. Plummer, which complement the melody beautifully. We sing the hymn regularly in the New Church congregation where I attend. We sing it, but do we actually believe the words in this hymn? Do we actually believe that the Lord can lead and guide the individual paths of our life? Do we believe that the Lord can actually put forth His hand to release us from the evil desires and false ideas that evil spirits relentlessly put in our way? Do we honestly and sincerely turn our hearts and minds to the Lord instead of just reciting the Lord’s Prayer as our only connection to the Lord? We need a personal relationship with the Lord to keep the hells from entering our lives. My father died almost 20 years ago, but I will always think of him as a spiritually and naturally wise man. The reason I believe my father was wise is that he enjoyed reading and learning about both natural and spiritual ideas. He enjoyed learning about history, philosophy, current events and other topics, but his favorite books to read and learn from were the Writings for the New Church given through Swedenborg. He tried to apply what he had learned to his life and he would share what he had learned with his family. As a child and young person I could ask him about many different topics, including religion, and we often had an in-depth discussion about it. Once my mother asked him, “When do you pray to the Lord?” He answered, “all of the time.” He explained that he had a running dialogue with the Lord. Although he led our family in reverently saying the Lord’s Prayer before bed, he believed and taught us that it was not enough just to say the Lord’s Prayer, and told us a story that happened early in his life. He lost an important farming tool for constructing fences. He spent the 152