Spring Devotional

Editor’s Note: This piece was written by a Luther Seminary student earlier this spring.

I can’t tell you what spring is like in places beyond the Midwest — I’m sure they have it but it certainly pales in comparison to the spring that we enjoy in Minnesota. Saint Anthony Park and the ever-creaky Bockman Hall were covered in snow one day this week and basked in warm sun the next. Through open windows a new breeze blows in and with it the promise of a new age. A new age not held by the chains of ice and cold but one dominated by the warmth of the sun.

It is on to this odd state of transition that I cannot help but project my own faith. We as believers live in a time of transition. We have felt the warmth of the Son but are all too familiar with the cold and death of sin. Yet just like those experiencing spring in Minnesota, we know that the days of sin are numbered. We may not know for certain what that number is but that God has assigned it.

There is a moment in early March (and yes, I am a hardy one) when we first feel the warmth that God has given us. It is a feeling unlike anything else as it brings us to the end of our reality and then on to the next. That first warm day in March announces that winter is ending and summer is soon to follow. It is a sweet promise but one that loses its meaning if we spend the rest of the season behind closed windows and in a dorm. There, away from the sun, the promise becomes stale.

I remember the moment when I first felt the warmth of Christ. It brought me to the end of my reality and onto the next. Yet it is a warmth unappreciated when it is followed by distance and silence; by greeting the new breeze with closed windows and walls. Like students in spring, we as believers must live into the warmth and not merely observe its effect through a double-paned window. We will never replace the experience of when the Son first broke the cold but we can continue to live into the promise of that which the Son brings.

How do we live in the sun in a time when winter looms so close? I really couldn’t say but certainly we must first step from our dorms and houses and into where that light shines. We know darkness because we have seen light; cold because we have felt warmth. There is wisdom in that simple pairing — now that we have known, we should know.

The snow on my window’s ledge is gone but, without any regard of my own attitudes, it may return tomorrow. Spring is a time of transition, one that aims to break us of winter and usher in a period where we need not worry about snow. Until that time, I will have to wait and celebrate the warmth as it is given — that is the reassurance that allows us to hope for summer even when winter surprises us again.

A. Nestenprest

Devotion for Tuesday, November 21, 2017

“Awake, my glory!  Awake, harp and lyre!  I will awaken the dawn.  I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations.”  (Psalm 57:8-9)

Look around and what do you see?  Does not the sun come up each morning?  Is not the Lord giving all that is needed for life to continue?  Has not the Lord provided for You?  Yes and more.  Awaken, and regardless what is happening around you, see that the Lord is always doing His part in the midst of every time and place.  Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and provides always.

Teach me,O Lord, to sing to You with the work of my hands.  Guide me in those gifts You have given to use them for You always.  Lead me in the way I should go that I may go there.  Open my eyes to see the beauty of the earth and all that is in it.  Let my voice raise in song and my heart swell with praise of Your goodness to all.  May others know that it is You that I praise, O Lord.

Lord and Savior, Jesus, You are leading the way for as many as come through You to the Father.  Guide my thoughts and actions this day that I may see the goodness that is all around in spite of the battle of sin that still rages.  Keep my heart in joy and away from lament, and lead me to sing a sing of praise this day through all that I do.  Help me, O Lord, to walk as You would have me walk.  Amen.