Prayer: I believe, Lord, help my unbelief. Amen.
Reading: I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord. But the Holy Spirit makes me holy and keeps me in the truth faith. (A slight variation of Luther’s explanation of the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed—see Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 1162)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: As we struggle with our growth in faith, I sometimes come to the same conclusion that Professor Mark Vitalis Hoffman shared at the assembly of Upper Susquehanna Synod last week-end. Often the scriptures aren’t clear about faith and we end up with “I donno.” He reminded us about Luther’s explanation of the Third Article. We just cannot figure out this faith thing. Sometimes I’ve got it (for maybe just a moment), but most of the time I don’t. What am I to do? Luther understood, I think. No matter what I do, whatever I think or experience, in the end I can’t do this faith thing on my own. It’s reassuring that Luther understood. It’s more comforting that God understands, too. And sends us the Holy Spirit who keeps us in the faith.
At camp we sing the song “I Believe I Do Believe Truly I Believe It.” On Sundays we use one of the creeds. It is good for us to declare what we believe. But, it is also good to add, but God help me—to believe and to grow. --Jim Bricker, Chaplain to Camp Mount Luther’s Summer Staff
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