Devotion and Prayer for Week of June 22, 2014

Meditation for the Week of June 22, 2014

 

Every summer my congregation reviews a section of the Small Catechism.  This treasure of the faith contains the basic texts of the Christian life, along with brief explanations that apply them to us personally.  Although many Lutherans learn the catechism in confirmation class, we often forget and neglect this wonderful resource.  Martin Luther himself said, “I must still read and study daily, and yet I cannot master it as I wish, but must remain a child and pupil of the Catechism, and am glad so to remain.”  This summer we are reviewing the creed and its explanation, and so the FHP devotions for the month of June will focus on these texts.

 

The Second Article:

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

 

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.  In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.  In this Christian Church He daily and richly forgives me all my sins and the sins of all believers.  On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.  This is most certainly true.

 

Meditation:

We know what a Father is.  We know what a Son is.  But what is a Spirit?  How do you picture the Holy Spirit?

In Hebrew, “Spirit”,  “soul”, “breath” and “wind” are all the same word.  Your spirit, your soul, is what gives your body life, your breath.  God’s Spirit is what God uses to give life to His people.  When God created Adam, He was an empty shell until He breathed His Spirit into Him, and that brought Adam to life.

How does God breathe life into you?  He does so through His Word.

When God speaks of His Word, He’s not talking about ink on a page.  Think spoken word.  Words are meant to be breathed out of someone’s mouth.  Your breath is what carries your words.  Breath is Spirit and Spirit gives life.  If you want to picture the Holy Spirit, picture Words carried by the breath of God to give you life.

When you hear the Word of God spoken, read and preached to you, and especially when that Word is connected to physical things: water in Holy Baptism, bread and wine in the Holy Supper, that’s where God’s Spirit is at work, giving you life.

One day your spirit will fail and your body will die.  But that will not be the end of you.  God’s Spirit will raise your body back to life on the last day, and give you a spirit that will never die.

That’s Spirit.  Next week: what it means to be Holy.

 

Our Weekly Prayer 

Holy Spirit, open my ears to hear Your Word, and fill me with Your life, through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Father, one God, now and forever.