Saturday, February 25, 2006

February 25: Elizabeth Fedde, Deaconness

When Jesus took the towel and basin and stooped to wash the disciples' feet, he provided a most vivid picture of servanthood and a model for deaconess ministry. "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet." John 13:14.

In New Testament times deaconesses and deacons were set apart to assist and lead the church in caring for the poor, marginalized, powerless people whom it would have been so easy to forget. Throughout the ages the diaconate has shaped itself in various ways, but the central heartbeat has always been the same -- to reach out in Christian love to those in need.

Today, the Lutheran Church especially remembers one such person, Deaconess Elizabeth Fedde. Here s one of the prayers you might you might hear in this communities of the holy, catholic, apostolic church today:

O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we, inspired by the devotion of your servants Elizabeth Fedde and her companions, may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


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