God Pause for Saturday, 9/20/2014

Luther Seminary God Pause

Saturday, 9/20/2014 Hymn: "O Spirit of Life," ELW 405

O Spirit of life, O Spirit of God, in ev'ry need you bring us aid, proceeding forth from God's great throne, from God, the Father and the Son; O Spirit of life, O Spirit of God.

O Spirit of life, O Spirit of God, increase our faith in our dear Lord; unless your grace the power should give, none can believe in Christ and live; O Spirit of life, O Spirit of God.

O Spirit of life, O Spirit of God, make us to love your sacred word; the holy flame of love impart, that charity may warm each heart; O Spirit of life, O Spirit of God.

O Spirit of life, O Spirit of God, enlighten us by that same word; teach us to know God's radiant love, lead us to Christ who reigns above; O Spirit of life, O Spirit of God.>

Many times I am thankful that whatever God does through me doesn't depend on me. If it did, I would be in trouble. This hymn reminds me that it is the Spirit who does all the work. It makes me recall Luther's explanation of the third article of the Apostles' Creed: "I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith." Whew!

That doesn't mean I can just kick back and do nothing. I still have to do the work, but the "work" isn't adding more things to my to-do list. It is paying attention to and tending to my relationship with God. Without that, it all falls apart. Because all I am and do is dependent on him. Thank God. (literally!)

Dear Lord, thank you for calling me. Help me not to get so caught up in what I do and instead remember who I am, and that you are faithful even when I am not. Amen.>

Laurie Neill Family Life Pastor, First Lutheran Church, Fargo, N.D. Master of Divinity, 2012

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