Donors and Students at the Blessings celebration
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Monday, May 25, 2015

Brandon was about five years old when he came up to the chancel area with about 50 of his peers for "A Time for Children." I had just baptized a baby girl, and as was my custom, we reviewed what had just happened.

"I poured water on Sarah's head and said, 'In the name of the Father. You now have the name of the God who created the trees and flowers and lakes and the whole world.' I then poured water on your sister's head and said, 'In the name of the Son. You now have the same name as Jesus, your brother who died and rose from the dead to give you His name.' I poured water on Sarah's head a third time and I said, 'In the name of the Holy Spirit. From now on you will have the name of God who lives inside of you and tells you every day that She loves you.'"

By this time Brandon's eyes were as big as saucers. He stood up, threw out his arms and cried out, "How can this be?"

Unbeknown to Brandon, his reaction was like that of the learned rabbi, Nicodemus, who had come to Jesus in the night to meet this new young teacher. In the middle of the conversation, Jesus startled the older rabbi: "No one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above." Nicodemus was blown out of the water. "How can this be?"

This week we celebrate the Holy Trinity. Who can really understand a Trinitarian God? All we can do is exclaim in awe and adoration, "How can this be?"

We bow before you this week, Heavenly Father, not in understanding, but in amazement. Convince us anew of both your love and your majesty! In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Hub Nelson
Retired Pastor, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Master of Divinity , 1962

John 3:1-17 (NRSV)

1 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews.
2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God."
3 Jesus answered him, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above."
4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?"
5 Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.
6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, "You must be born from above.'
8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."
9 Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?"
10 Jesus answered him, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
11 "Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony.
12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
17 "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

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