Students sitting outside Bockman
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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming
from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse's lineage coming
as seers of old have sung,
it came, a flow'r so bright,
amid the cold of winter,
when half-spent was the night.

Isaiah had 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 us a Savior,
when half-spent was the night.

This flow'r, whose fragrance tender
with sweetness fill the air,
dispels with glorious splendor
the darkness everywhere.
True man, yet very God,
from sin and death he saves us
and lightens ev'ry 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 into endless day.

While this hymn is technically a Christmas hymn, I have always loved the juxtaposition of the imagery of a rose blooming in the dead of winter. The first sign of spring after a long winter can be a small flower poking up through the snow and cold ground signaling hope of warmer, brighter and longer days to come. Followers of Jesus constantly look for signs of hope, mercy and forgiveness that signal the coming of God's kingdom. We can share this coming hope here and now as we point to places where we experience and see God at work in our lives, other people's lives and in our world. The whole of creation is waiting expectantly for love to reign, hope to abound and mercy to flow. As surely as the rose blooms in the spring, God's kingdom will come!

God of hope, bloom into our world with your promises of love, mercy, forgiveness and life forever. You know our every weakness, failings and challenges, and you promise to love us unconditionally. Be with us always and bring us into your kingdom to share abundant life with you through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Brigette Weier
Pastor, Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village, Colo.
Master of Divinity , 2012

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