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, August 10, 2013

Next Day

In the bleak midwinter,
frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron,
water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow,
snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter,
long ago.

Heaven cannot hold him,
nor earth sustain;
heav'n and earth shall flee away
when he comes to reign;
in the bleak midwinter
a stable place sufficed
the Lord God almighty,
Jesus Christ.

What can I give him,
poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
if I were a wise man
I would do my part;
yet what I can give him—
give my heart.

I know this might seem to be an odd choice of hymn for a summertime reflection. The fact remains the second and third stanzas of this hymn have been bouncing around in my head for days. "Heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain; heav'n and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign."

Each one of the texts for this week deals with the inability for humankind to understand the way that God is at work in the world. Even the list of faith heroes is filled with images of people who followed in spite of doubts. We are not even able to hold God, let alone sustain.

We simply look for that which we can offer. "What can I give him, poor as I am?" And what is it that God has always asked of us? It isn't our lambs, or poems, or devotionals. God only asks for that which we can indeed give—we give our heart.

Almighty God, we thank you for all that you have given to us even though we do not deserve it. You gather us together and shower us with grace. Grace falling, grace on grace. Thank you. In Christ we pray. Amen.

Mike Schmidt
Pastor, GRACE Lutheran Church, Des Moines, IA
Master of Divinity , 2004

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