Pastor Tim

Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Churches – Pastor Tim Huff of Holy Trinity

Change Reaction Chapter 2

Saying “Yes” to God is risky. Think about it.

There is a prayer that I have used on Pentecost that goes:

“God, Creator of the Universe, as you sent upon the disciples the promised gift of the Holy Spirit, look upon your Church and open our hearts to the power of the Spirit.
Kindle in us the fire of your love and strengthen our lives for service in your creation…”

That’s a very nice prayer. Who can argue with “open our hearts” and “strengthen our lives”? The prayer asks very large things in very comfortable phrases.

This prayer lets us sound like we are saying “Yes” to God—but without taking any unnecessary chances.

But what if the prayer went more like one of these:

       Creator, grab me out of my safe life and compel me to heal and teach and reveal your love so powerfully that I am scorned by the complacent, feared by the unjust, and hated by the evil one.

       Yahweh, rip open the sky and mark me with a fire of conviction so eternally sure that the very walls of unbelief and hatred and prejudice crumble before me.

       Eternal One, storm me with the wind of the Spirit; seize me and soar with me up and away from the minor crises that fasten my sight on the ground. Fire my eyes with a vision of what your Spirit loose in my world could tear down, heal, and make new.

       Holy Spirit, set me on fire with the Word and with the passion for serving that you gave to the disciples; empower and impel me so remarkably that the trail of my way through your world looks like a path scorched by your justice.

       Messiah, transform my life and send me out so mightily that The Tempter will have no choice but to spend a lifetime of wilderness days trying to turn me back into myself again.

       Jesus, soak me so wet with the water of Baptism that as I walk among the thirsty of the world, many are splashed by the drops of life-giving grace that fall from me.

One might not want to say prayers like that too often. A person would have to be BOLD to utter such outrageous petitions. After all, how could we be sure God wouldn’t just answer with a mighty “YES,” and then where would we be?

Our lives would be filled with the “Domino Effect.”

Some of you will recall that I wrote of “Change Reaction” in June of 2020. I was reminded when I watched the show “Domino Masters.” “Domino Masters” involves teams of domino enthusiasts compete to create masterpieces; the top teams face off for a cash prize, the ultimate trophy and the grand title of Domino Masters.

It is truly amazing to see the work of these “Domino Artists.” These artists set up long lines of dominoes, with complicated twists and turns, and then enjoy the sight of watching them all fall.

 None of these would be possible without a “chain reaction.” A chain reaction is:

A chemical reaction or other process in which the products themselves promote or spread the reaction, which under certain conditions may accelerate dramatically.
A series of events, each caused by the previous one.

 God created a wonderful chain reaction for us when God sent us the Holy Spirit. We are part of this chain reaction whenever we show love, care and respect to someone.

 Our lives are not the same when we are open to and filled with the Holy Spirit. We are called to daily set-in motion chain reactions which begin with faith and end in love.

 May we be Spirit led “change agents” in the world.

Pastor Tim

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