Word of the Month

A precious possession

March 2003

Every person on earth owns something very precious: the life granted by God. A much greater treasure, however, is the childhood in God, which is attained through the rebirth out of water and the Spirit. It is important that we preserve this gift of grace and defend it against all attacks of the prince of this world. Apostle Paul, in his second letter to Timothy, already admonished: "That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us."

There are more precious goods that we must preserve: our faith in the Lord and His timely revelations, the recognition of God's plan of salvation, and the knowledge about His work of redemption. Through the Holy Spirit, who - in the word from the altar - proclaims what He hears at the throne of God, we are led more and more deeply into the mysteries of the plan of salvation. This strengthens our hope in the promised return of Christ. From this springs strength to overcome, as well as comfort in many situations of life.

The gift of being able to distinguish the spirits is also precious. This gift allows us to make the right decisions, especially when it is a question of warding off temptations. Consistently following the doctrine of Christ requires that we make the right decision over and over again. The Holy Spirit does not only work through the word of God at the altar, however, but also within us by inspiring and supporting God-pleasing thoughts and actions in us. Blessed is the one who takes God's word seriously and does not bring it down to a human plane of discussion. Whoever keeps holy the revelations of the Holy Spirit will grow in faith. Intelligence is a valuable gift - whoever is endowed with it can thank God for it. But only the Holy Spirit opens up the mysteries of our faith, and gives us access to divine wisdom and understanding. He consolidates our hope and helps us remain in the first love. Let us give the Holy Spirit, with which we have been sealed and who lives within us, room to develop.

Let us make it our motto: the Holy Spirit shall inspire us intensively so that we reach the goal as quickly as possible! To this end we must give Him room in our heart - not only in some far-flung corner of it. Let us open our whole heart to Him. Whoever allows the Holy Spirit to work within him will pursue his path of faith in joy. This does not mean that we will not have a bad day now and then, that we will never be sad, or even angry - we are, after all, human beings of flesh and blood. But if the Holy Spirit gains room within us we will get over such troubles - at the latest in the next divine service, or when we bend our knees and share our burdens with the dear God. We will come away strengthened and peaceful, and will joyfully continue our pilgrimage toward the day of the Lord.

(From a service by the Chief Apostle)