GOD PAUSE DAILY DEVOTIONS

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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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Years ago, when I was serving a small two-point parish, I got invited to attend a meeting at our church-wide headquarters in Chicago. At dinner that night, I proudly told my three daughters that I had been invited to a meeting there. What my daughters heard was, "We're going to Chicago!" I had no idea how we would afford to take the whole family, but I could tell that all of us or none of us were going.

In Chicago, there was a church I wanted to visit. I planned to get there before worship to take a look around. But when I enthusiastically said, "Let's go!" first my oldest daughter's hair wasn't dry. Then one of her sisters was having a shoe issue. The other didn't want to be along at all. My wife told me that this is what families often go through on the way to church, but I wouldn't know, because I got to leave the house early on Sunday mornings.

By the time we were in the pew, it was not just my daughters who were crabby, but me, too. But then something truly of the Spirit happened. The organ came to life and the congregation began to sing, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty...." Tears came to our eyes. The tension left us as we worshiped the one who is indeed "holy, merciful and mighty." I never forget that, while some sermons have been remembered through history, countless hymns have. I am thankful for the power of music to stir our souls and help us experience communion with the creator.

For hymns that move us, holy, merciful and mighty God, we give you thanks. Amen.

John Hogenson
St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi, Minn.
Master of Divinity , 1987

"Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty," ELW 413

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
Which wert and art and evermore shall be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
Though the eye made blind by sin thy glory may not see,
Only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
Perfect in power, in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

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This week's devotions are offered by a Luther Seminary alum from the graduating class of 1987.