Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.


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Saturday, July 06, 2013

Next Day

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heav'n, to earth come down!
Fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation,
enter ev'ry trembling heart.

Breathe, oh, breathe thy loving Spirit
into ev'ry troubled breast;
let us all in thee inherit;
let us find thy promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty, to deliver;
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return, and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

Finish then thy new creation,
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee!
Changed from glory into glory,
till in heav'n we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise!

As I compared myself to other first year seminary students, I felt miserably inadequate, and decided to quit the seminary. Before leaving, one last obligation I had to do was to help with an Advent Choir Festival at my Contextual Ed congregation. The finest choirs from the Twin Cities performed at the festival. It was a spectacular evening, until a group of children and adults with varying disabilities were slowly led to the stage. When they began to sing, they were off key. They didn't sing in unison. They mumbled their words. But as they continued to sing "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling," I found myself weeping, as they reintroduced me to my God, who reached out to outcasts, who called the unworthy, who overcame sin and death not with a display of power, but by dying on a cross.

Humble Lord, help those who feel inadequate sing their song of divine love as only they can, unto your glory and praise. Amen.

David Patterson
Director, Pastoral Care, Luther Manor, Wauwatosa, WI
Master of Divinity , 1985

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.