The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


All stirred up

Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?” (Acts 2:7-8).

A planning team I am on meets by phone because our members come from a variety of places throughout the ELCA. We frequently start our calls by engaging in a spiritual practice known as lectio divina, or divine reading.

A member of the team reads one or two verses from Scripture followed by a time of silence. Each person dwells in God’s word to connect with what is stirred up within him or her. Then we enter a time of sharing how God touched us.

When we do this, I am continually amazed at the variety of ways God speaks directly to each individual through the same brief verses.

In Acts we read that the disciples, infused by the Spirit, began preaching in different languages. The crowd, comprised of Jews from a variety of nations, each heard God’s word addressed to them, individually. And they were amazed.

We should be amazed too. Pentecost is a reminder that God comes to us, where we are as individuals, and speaks directly to us. We are not alone. The Spirit is in our midst constantly stirring things up. Recognize and connect with the power of the Spirit in your life. What’s being stirred up in you?


Bruce Roberts

Bruce Roberts

Posted at 12:09 pm (U.S. Eastern) 6/3/2014

With an interest in bridging science and religion within our churches so that a partnership between the two can be seen as grist for healing and hopeful futures, I want to point out that Pastor Susan's comments are as true based on the reading of a psychology text as they are from a divine reading.


Melvin G Swoyer

Melvin G Swoyer

Posted at 1:31 pm (U.S. Eastern) 6/3/2014

   Emily Scott does a great job of connecting liturgy and community. We all seek to share truth in a way that people can understand it, apply it to their experience, and appreciate the church's historical traditions.

   There always needs to be a dialog between the ancient texts and how we understand words, symbols, and actions -- doing so without distorting or manipulating them for our power. There is freedom in how  the gospels and Paul's letters approach the Eucharist.

    David C. Duncombe described The Shape of the Christain Life as balancing self-knowledge, accurate perception, honest expression, and adequate response (Abingdon Press, 1969).

   I see Emily Scott practicing the same process. Martin Luther's Table Talks also used this process.

   Thanks for good articles in The Lutheran.

   Mel Swoyer, ELCA clergy, retired

Note: Melvin G Swoyer edited this post at 1:34 pm on 6/3/2014.

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February issue


Embracing diversity