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Students sitting outside Bockman
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Sunday, January 06, 2019

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1 Brightest and best of the stars of the morning,
dawn on our darkness and lend us your aid.
Star of the east, the horizon adorning,
guide where our infant redeemer is laid.

2 Cold on his cradle the dewdrops are shining;
low lies his head with the beasts of the stall;
angels adore him in slumber reclining,
maker and monarch and savior of all.

3 What shall we give him, in costly devotion?
Shall we bring incense and off'rings divine,
gems of the mountain and pearls of the ocean,
myrrh from the forest or gold from the mine?

4 Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
vainly with gifts would his favor secure;
richer by far is the heart's adoration,
dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

5 Brightest and best of the stars of the morning,
dawn on our darkness and lend us your aid.
Star of the east, the horizon adorning,
guide where our infant redeemer is laid.


On this Epiphany Day we recall the extravagant gifts of the wise men. We too often seek to give God extravagant gifts. Often we promise God great things when we are desperate and seek something from God. When a loved one is sick, perhaps we tell God we will read the Bible more if God will just heal our loved one. Or perhaps at another time, we may offer to give more in offerings if God will just grant us this one request, whatever it may be.

Yet this great Epiphany hymn reminds us that it is in vain that we play this game of trying to curry favor with the Almighty. The truth is that God already loves us and desires to give us what we truly need. We don't need to give large and extravagant gifts to earn God's favor. In the words of the hymn, "richer by far is the heart's adoration, dearer to God are the prayers of the poor."

God of Light, you ask nothing of me but that I would trust you. Help me to trust you more and more, day by day. Amen.

Brian Krause, '09
Spiritual Care Coordinator, Heartland Hospice, Fremont, Ohio


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