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Appreciating Our Lutheran Hymns

Holy Spirit, God of Love

A Hymn for Pentecost

#230 in The Lutheran Hymnal

In a broad 2,000 feet valley, where we have made our home for the past five years, the Clearwater River flows into the Snake River as it makes its way westward to the still greater Columbia.

Here in Clarkston, Washington we look forward to this time of year with great anticipation. As a general rule, late spring brings with it the end of our rainy season–an end to the days on end in which the valley is socked in with low clouds, allowing but rare glimpses of the sun. The early arrival of summer means the return to weeks of clear skies once again.

This month’s hymn by Birgitte Boye sings words of praise over another such transition, but a much more drastic and blessed one. It addresses that change which was worked in the once completely darkened heart of us sinners. As the Holy Spirit shed on us the light of God’s Word, He worked the miracle of faith. He caused the sun of God’s righteousness to break through the clouds of our disobedience and rebellion.

As we Christians celebrate the Spirit’s festival of Pentecost, we join with Boye in asking God the Spirit, “who our night dost brighten,” to continue to “enlighten our faith.” We pray that He would cause us to keep growing as “in Thy light we gather” around the Word. In it shines “Christ’s promise clear”–never will He leave us, but will abide with us to the end.

May God’s Spirit always thus “bless us with His favor!”

–Pastor Paul Krause