Psalm 1:2-3 – But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

Gloves, trowel, mulch, seedlings, and seeds—all the necessary supplies are assembled and close at hand. Gardening may be an enjoyable and relaxing hobby, but often it is a lot of work. The newly planted seeds and seedlings enjoy, literally, the fruit of the gardener’s labors. In the same way, through no effort on our part, we who are called blessed by the psalmist, we who delight in the law—the teachings—of the LORD, find ourselves planted like healthy, fruit-bearing trees that thrive beside a stream.

In this sacred planting, our Heavenly Father is the gardener, “the vinedresser” (John 15:1b). In Baptism He carefully placed us, rooting us deeply in Christ our Savior. The Word of the Gospel is the powerful, implanted seed that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, gave us new life. The Word is also the living soil in which we grow and thrive. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31b-32). Through the witness of the Word, we know the truth about our Lord Jesus, who is Himself the truth and who suffered, died, and rose from death to set us free from sin and death. By God’s grace, through faith in Jesus, our sins are forgiven, and we receive the gift of eternal life. Through the witness of the Word we know that we thrive and bear fruit only when we are joined to Jesus, the true Vine, our Source of life. Our living faith is nourished as we hear and read His Word and receive His body and blood in His Holy Supper.

Blessed by the Lord and empowered by His Spirit as by a life-giving stream, we no longer seek to stand with sinners or keep company with those who scoff and deny our Savior. Planted and growing in Christ Jesus, we remain rooted in the Word and prosper in bearing the fruit of faith, the fruit of humble acts of love and service that glorify our Heavenly Father. With the psalmist we exclaim in grateful praise, “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97).

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how we love Your Word! Through that life-giving Word, draw us ever closer to You so that we might grow in faith and bear the fruit of love that will glorify our Heavenly Father. Amen.

Sunday School Rally Day is TOMORROW!  We rejoice as we launch another season of Sunday School at Shepherd of the Valley and install our teachers and elected leaders.  Sunday School Opening for all ages will take place in the sanctuary at 9:30 am.  Adults are urged to join the Adult Bible Class as we study the same lesson as our children in Sunday School.  Thanks to our amazing Sunday School staff as they serve our children with Jesus’ love.  Our theme for Sunday School will fall under the banner of “Fruits of the Spirit.”

Shepherd of the Valley will host the Circuit Pastoral Conference on Monday, September 9.

A brief update on Vision Path and results of a recent congregational survey will be revealed following services on Sunday.  Thanks to Ann Willoughby and the Vision Path Team for their work.

Pastor Wolfgram will lead a new member class for adults interested in joining Shepherd of the Valley on Monday, September 9.  Each of the six sessions will begin at 6:30 PM.  Please contact Pastor Wolfgram if you are interested or know of someone who would like to learn what we teach and confess as Lutherans.

The Hangout will take place on Tuesday, September 10, starting at 6:00 PM.  Bring a dish to share and look forward to study with Vicar Dailey as he leads us in a study of the book of Romans.  Adults who are 18-35 are urged to attend.  Hope to see you!

“Take Heart In Your Grief” will be offered at Shepherd of the Valley starting Sunday, October 6.  Pastor Marcis and Pastor Wolfgram will lead the six-week course beginning at 6:30 each Sunday.  If you are mourning the death of a loved one and would like support and information to help you navigate the journey of grief, “Take Heart In Your Grief” will prove to be a blessing for you.  To register or for more information call the church office at 701-258-4231.

Upcoming speakers on Main Street Living include:  Rev. Paul Preus, Ellendale, on September 8, Rev. Daryl Rothchild, Towner, Kramer, and Upham, on September 15, and Rev. Jonathan Walla from Bethel, Bismarck, on September 22.  Main Street Living can be seen each Sunday at 10:00 AM on KBMY Xtra channel 17.3 or 594.