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Sunday, September 29, 2019

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1 Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

2 Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert and art, and evermore shalt be.

3 Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinfulness thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in pow'r, in love and purity.

4 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Text: Reginald Heber, 1783-1826, alt.


This familiar 19th-century hymn was long sung in many churches as a processional each Sunday morning. The triple "Holy, holy, holy" at the beginning of each verse reminds us to praise the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The hymn gives us a glimpse of heaven with the saints, cherubim, and seraphim all praising and thanking God, the creator and master of all.

Its lofty vision invites us to ask what is next for our journey in this life. Are we satisfied with our direction and progress? Have we reached the proverbial "top of the mountain"? David Brooks, in his book The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life, asks three questions: "What's my best life? What do I believe in? Where do I belong?" Can you hear God calling us to come home, calling all God's children to strive for peace and to love justice?

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, guide our coming in and our going out each day. Strengthen us in your word, direct our faith, enlighten our spirit, fill us with your grace and truth, so that we may bring peace and hope to your world. Open our minds to serve you more faithfully. In the presences of your grace, bring us home. Amen.

William A. Olsen, '69
Retired clergy, Webster, S.D.


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