Prayer: Listening God, we are thankful that when we do not know how to pray the Spirit intercedes. Amen.
Reading: Romans 8: 22-27 (Click to read text)
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?
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” -- Romans 8:26-27 NIV
A friend and choir member died suddenly last week just days after a cancer diagnosis. The tumor hemorrhaged into his brain stem. Bob was talking and smiling one minute; gone the next. The choir gathered that evening, hugged, cried and tried to find words until we went outside as daylight faded and we simply began to sing favorite hymns as the Spirit interceded.
Two days later, Bob was to be a soloist for Music Sunday and we had hoped and prayed during choir practice that he could despite the sudden troubling symptoms and upcoming biopsy procedure. But, there we were on Sunday, a grieving Chancel Choir singing Schubert's Mass in G with the our director and another bass sharing the solo parts. The whole congregation was sorrowing but we still had music to carry the Word and share our love. Bob was still with us in our singing as the Spirit interceded.
Tomorrow the choir will be at Bob's funeral and this may be the most difficult of all. But again the Spirit will intercede and we will share three of our dearest anthems and the hymn, My Life Flows On in Endless Song, with the refrain:
No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to that rock I'm clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?
--Ruth Gates, Camp Mount Luther Family Camper
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