God Pause for Saturday, 8/16/2014

Luther Seminary God Pause

Saturday, 8/16/2014 Hymn: "God Be With You Till We Meet Again," ELW 536

God be with you till we meet again; by good counsels guide, uphold you, with a shepherd's care enfold you; God be with you till we meet again.

Refrain Till we meet, (till we meet,) till we meet, (till we meet again,) till we meet at Jesus' feet; (till we meet,) till we meet, (till we meet,) till we meet, (till we meet again.) God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again; holy wings securely hide you, daily manna still provide you; God be with you till we meet again. (Refrain)

God be with you till we meet again; when life's perils thick confound you, put unfailing arms around you; God be with you till we meet again. (Refrain)>

As a child I regularly worshiped with my grandpa and grandma in a small town in North Dakota. Each Sunday, the sending hymn at the end of the service would be "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." As a child, it signified to me, "Yeah, church is over! Let's get out of here!"

But I have grown to understand that this hymn is a prayer for all those others who are gathered with me in the congregation. The people gathered have heard the word, prayed and praised God, taken the bread and the wine, and are now sent into the world filled with God's grace. But there is one final thing the congregation needs to do we need to pray for each other.

In this hymn the congregation sings to each other: God be with you. May you be provided for. When things are hard, may you know God's presence. God be with you until next week of our meeting.

And even more than that, it is a prayer for each other until we "meet at Jesus feet." May God be with you--here on earth. Here in North Dakota. Here in our community. But even more, when all our Sundays on this earth are at an end, may God be with you until we are reunited again in his glory.

God of presence, be with us as we gather to sing your praises, and then may we know your continuing presence even as we go our separate ways. Then help us to know that you bind us together in your love, whatever paths we may journey, even to the end of the road. Amen.

Amanda Schultz Pastor of Bethany, Immanuel and Trinity Lutheran Churches, Cashton, Wis. Master of Divinity, 2013

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