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, December 08, 2012

Next Day

I remember well uncovering my roses in the spring, gently removing the leaves and dirt from stems I had trimmed in the fall. I clipped the stems again and then waited for the green shoots to appear. I would talk to each rose plant and encourage it to grow and produce rose blossoms, the most beautiful of all flowers. When the first bud would appear, I would carefully stroke it. When the petals would unfold, I was able to celebrate its unique personality.

It is easy to see why the writer of this hymn used the waiting for and then the celebrating of the bloom as a metaphor for the waiting for Jesus and then celebrating his birth.

Our theme for this Advent is "waiting with a sure and certain hope." My experience with roses, however, falls a bit short of a sure and certain hope. The Minnesota winters can be brutal, especially when there is a lot of thawing and freezing. But, I still hold onto this hymn's metaphor of the rose for Jesus' birth, as I know that no winter, no matter how harsh, can take away my confidence that the rose that is Jesus will always bloom, revealing the glory of our salvation.

We wait again, O Lord, for the bloom of Christmas. Amen!

Hub Nelson
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Edina, Minn. (Retired)
Master of Divinity , 1962

"Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming," ELW 272

Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse's lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God's love aright, she bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And to the endless day!

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