At the 2019 LCMS Youth Gathering, young people got a chance to serve by making Plarn. Plarn is yarn made from used plastic grocery bags that can be crocheted together to make mats for those who struggle with homelessness. These mats allow individuals to sleep on a surface that stays dry and retains heat. They are easy to roll and light to carry. Many organizations that help care for people without stable housing may be able to use these.

Download the instructions to make plarn here.

The following devotion accompanied the instructions and can be used with any local service project.

Scripture Readings

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
Psalm 46:1-3

“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
Philippians 2:13

Peace in a Real. Present. God.

There is always something to worry about. We worry about getting everything done and achieving our goals. We worry about friends and family who are sick or in trouble. We worry about the mundane like if our clothes match and the profoundly serious like our sinful, unpredictable world. It’s hard not to let sin fill us up with worry.

The Psalms don’t shy away from describing worry in our troubled world. Psalm 46 describes the earth giving way and mountains being moved. We might not see mountains tremble, but we do see homelessness, loneliness, sickness, and more. We want to love and care for others in Jesus’ name, but we worry it won’t make any difference. David reminds us that God never meant for us to worry. Our God is a very present help in any worry or trouble.

Paul says in Philippians that God is the one who works through us to love, serve, and share Jesus with our neighbors. We never do it perfectly on our own. But through our baptism, God has made us His hands and feet to the world. We don’t need to worry about what to do or what to say. God will guide your service, so you can share the Gospel with others.

When our God is a refuge and strength, we never have to worry. God forgives our sins when we mess up or let worry paralyze us. Even in a chaotic world, God helps us to serve and gives us the words to say. Our real, present God is will us as we love and care for others in His name.

  • What are you worried about today?
  • How does God’s peace change your perspective on what worries you?


God, you are a Real. Present. God. You forgive our sins and remind us daily that you are our refuge and strength. Help us to leave our trust in our gift of faith. Help us to trust that You will use us to do Your work in the world. Help us to trust the Holy Spirit to give us opportunities to share Jesus through acts of mercy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Download the instructions to make plarn here.