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Sunday, February 11, 2018

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Songs of thankfulness and praise,
Jesus, Lord, to thee we raise;
manifested by the star
to the sages from afar,
branch of royal David's stem
in thy birth at Bethlehem:
anthems be to thee addressed,
God in flesh made manifest.

Manifest at Jordan's stream,
prophet, priest, and king supreme;
and at Cana wedding guest
in thy Godhead manifest;
manifest in pow'r divine,
changing water into wine;
anthems be to thee addressed,
God in flesh made manifest.

Manifest in making whole
weakened body, fainting soul;
manifest in valiant fight,
quelling all the devil's might;
manifest in gracious will,
ever bringing good from ill:
anthems be to thee addressed,
God in flesh made manifest.

Grant us grace to see thee, Lord,
present in thy holy word;
grace to imitate thee now
and be pure, as pure art thou;
that we might become like thee
at thy great epiphany,
and may praise thee, ever blest,
God in flesh made manifest.

Over the years the readings chosen for the Season of Epiphany have changed somewhat so that the verses of this hymn do not always match the events of the gospel story captured in the readings throughout Epiphany. Still when taken together, the verses of this hymn do lift up and invite contemplation of how the work and words of Jesus show him to be the presence of God--and thus provide a fitting summary of the intent of this season.

Stanza 1 teaches us that people saw Jesus' glory in the star and the visit by the Magi. Stanza 2 shows us that the baptism in the Jordan and the miracle at the wedding in Cana manifest Jesus' transforming presence. Stanza 3 recognizes the rescuing power and purpose of Jesus in healing, confronting and transforming evil. Stanza 4 is a prayer asking that those singing and sharing the hymn might be led to imitate Jesus in our lives.

Living God, help us to see Jesus in such clarity that we truly want to imitate and praise our Lord and Savior, now and forever. Amen.

Jim Thvedt '59
Retired/Interim Pastor, Brookings, S.D.

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