Sunday, September 06, 2015

God's Direct Touch

What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.
—John 3:6
When you hide your face, bewildered they yearn.
When you take their breath, to dust they return.
When you send your Spirit, created are they.
The face of the ground you renew every day.
—Psalm 104:29-30
Suggested tune (Hanover):
The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
—Ezekiel 37:1-10
From the unfathomable depths of all, an inward, hidden principle works upward and outward. It shows in nature, much more in human and angel. And what is this quickening and animating principle but the Holy Spirit? When you send forth your Spirit, they are created; when you take away their breath, they die. This inward, invisible something is God’s direct touch. There is in us and in every creature a point where the living God touches us to uphold us; for nothing exists without being upheld by Almighty God from moment to moment. In the elect this point is their spiritual life; in rational creatures, rational consciousness; and in all creatures, whether rational or not, their life-principle. And as the Holy Spirit is the Person in the Holy Trinity whose office it is to effect this direct touch and fellowship with creatures in their inmost being, it is the Spirit who dwells in the hearts of the elect; who animates every rational being; who sustains the principle of life in very creature.

—Abraham Kuyper, The Work of the Holy Spirit
I praise thee, Lord,
for cleansing me from sin;
fulfill thy Word,
and make me pure within.
Fill me with fire
where once I burned with shame;
grant my desire
to magnify thy Name. Amen.
—J. Edwin Orr
Today we are praying for the Palestinian Territories.
After your own personal prayers, close with the Lord's Prayer.
1252 Hanover 5

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