Power in the Spirit, 2020
Wednesday, July 8
We're glad you're a part of the Power in the Spirit online community this week. Here's what you can expect each day:

  • This Morning Devotional, including writings, a recorded message, and an origami craft.

  • An Evening Workshop at 5:30 PM, led by a presenter from within the Virginia Synod. To see the complete schedule of workshops, click here. The link to the Power in the Spirit Zoom room is below.

  • An Online Vespers Service, beginning at 6:45 PM and led by congregations throughout our synod. This is also in the Power in the Spirit Zoom room, linked below.
So Far...
Considering Depictions of the Spirit: Wind
Considering the Works of the Spirit: Preaching
Each day, we consider the Holy Spirit from a different angle. We will look at how the Spirit is depicted in scripture. We will examine the different ways the Spirit works in our world. We will look for ways the Spirit meets us in daily life. Through poetry, readings, visual arts, and crafts, we will spend time with these images and themes as we prepare for each evening's gathering on Zoom.

Today, we're considering how the Holy Spirit rushes in like wind, a rushes out from those who speak God's Word.
A Reading from Scripture: Ezekiel 37:1-14
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 round 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.

Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.’
Art by Vickie DeVilbiss
A Poem by Edith Blake
© Edith Blake
W isdom learned from experience
I nsight gained from studying his Word
N avigate through difficult times
D eepen our faith
A Reading from Pauli Murray
Excerpt from The Gift of the Holy Spirit , a sermon on John 14:16-17
As in the Apostles’ time, the Holy Spirit comes to us in moments when we least expect it – it may be a great Church festival when thousands of people are united in prayer and hymns of praise, or it may even manifest itself in a political event. In retrospect, I think the Holy Spirit was very much in evidence on that day in August 1963 when 240,000 people of all colors, ages and religions came together in Washington for a common ennobling purpose, marched to the Lincoln Memorial and heard the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., among others, burst into what was essentially a Spirit-filled utterance – “I have a Dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plane, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

We pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit on very special sacramental occasions in our Church life – at Baptism, at Confirmation, and during an Ordination. We need to remind ourselves, however, that the Holy Spirit is God’s abiding presence with us at all times and in all places, in every possible situation – at home, at work, in school, in the marketplace, in social life, in politics, in joy, in the depth of sorrow, sin, sickness and despair – the ever faithful companion, friend and Counselor, the Eternal One working in and through every moment of history in the affairs of mankind.

I sometimes think we shrink from the thought of this ever present Spirit because our awareness of being in God’s presence at all times is a fearful and awesome thing. We are afraid when we contemplate the Holy, the fear which a priest or a lay minister experiences standing at the altar or attempting to preach the Word of God. Our realization of how small we are and how infinitely great is the Creator and preserver of our universe inspires our awe. Our consciousness of how far we fall short of our true selves, and that God’s judgment is upon us every moment of our lives makes us afraid.
A Word from Pastor Laura Dunklin
Each morning we hear from a pastor in our Virginia Synod, who speaks about today's theme. Today, we give thanks for this message from the Rev. Laura Dunklin, Pastor of St. Philip Lutheran Church in Roanoke. Click the video to hear from Pastor Laura.
Do you need closed captions? YouTube will generate them for you! Once you're on the video page, just look for the "cc" symbol and click it.
The Rev. Dr. David N. Young, Bethel Lutheran Church, Winchester, Virginia
Tonight's Live Workshop on Zoom, 5:30 PM
Join us on Zoom at 5:30 PM tonight! Click this link or manually enter:

  • Meeting ID: 878 4206 3307
  • Password: 581963

Stay for worship at 6:45 PM!

Tonight's topic is “Preaching and the Pews: The Word Works in Mysterious Ways”

Consider the sermons that have made a difference in your life. What made them memorable? Was it simply the homiletic gifts of the preacher? Or was it something happening in you that made you "good soil"? We will explore the "sermonic event" together, preachers and hearers alike, and consider how our efforts matter while also remaining awake to the life-shaping work of the Spirit.
Worship Tonight!
Pastor Cheryl Griffin and the people of Saint Stephen Lutheran Church in Williamsburg, VA, will lead tonight's worship following our workshop session. The service bulletin is available as a pdf. Just click this picture:
Click the picture for tonight's service bulletin.
Arts & Crafts!
Each day we'll include a coloring page and an origami guide. In these times of limited travel and social interactions, you may find that the simple acts of coloring and folding paper will still your mind and bring you peace.
Click here for today's origami instructions, provided by OrigamiWay.com. Consider setting aside a space in your home for each day's creation. The gathering of icons will grow as our week proceeds.

For more information about the history of origami, click here to visit PBS.org.
Coloring is for all ages! And if you ever struggle with focusing during a prayer, you may find that busying your hands with crayons or colored pencils will help calm your thoughts. Click here for today's coloring page.
Power in the Spirit
A Ministry of the Virginia Synod, ELCA