Meet Shari Howell. She is the intern pastor at Grace Lutheran Church on the East Side of St. Paul, Minnesota. Her blog post below intertwines a beautiful story of how Jesus knew her heart and the text of Sunday, February 3.
In these verses from Matthew, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount continues with precepts about prayer. We’ve just heard the Beatitudes and by no means is Jesus over with his preaching. With every “you may have heard that…” he follows with “but I tell you…” In every verse, Jesus is driving his point deeper and deeper: “Follow me, I alone am your light, I alone know your heart. Pray to me in this way. I know what you need before you even ask me.”
Imagine that! We have a Savior who knows what our hearts deepest needs are before we can even identify them ourselves! What a treasure!
In the mid-1990s, I was a beginning band teacher fresh out of college. One day, a local music store representative walked into my teaching space. He was kind and really bent over backwards to get my students and me what we needed fast. It was no wonder he was highly respected and appreciated by my colleagues in the district.
Fast forward 18 months and we began dating. A few months later we became engaged. Then a year later we married. I would never have guessed back at that first meeting that we would become husband and wife. He was just not the type I imagined for myself in a husband. Sure, he could get me all the band books, instruments and supplies I needed in a snap, but seriously, the guy couldn’t accompany me on piano. He wasn’t even Lutheran! But Jesus knew my heart better than I did and gave me a great faith partner in life.
“Be Thou My Vision” was a hymn that we included in our wedding ceremony nearly 21 years ago. We love it because it is both a prayer and a hymn of trust in Jesus. It begins with “Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart” and ends with “Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, still be my vision, O Ruler of all.”
Why Jesus? Because Jesus knows our heart.