Devotions Based on Hymns from Glory to God and Their Scriptural Allusions
READ: Exodus 19:16-18
You Are There was an American historical educational series for television and radio hosted by Walter Cronkite that aired from 1953 to 1972. There were 147 episodes which allowed viewers to experience situations and events of the past, e.g. the sinking of the Titanic, the Hindenburg disaster, the Chicago Fire, etc. Today as I read the scripture passage, I believe if I had been there I might have been quivering in my sandals, if they were still on my feet. Listen:
“there was thundering and lightning, as well as thick cloud on the mountain … a blast of the trumpet so loud that all the people trembled … the Lord had descended upon it (the mountain) in fire and smoke … while the whole mountain shook violently.”
Today’s hymn, Every Time I Feel the Spirit, is a spiritual and it is set within the section “God’s Covenant with Israel” in the hymnbook. The author expresses confidence. Listen:
“Upon the mountain, when my Lord spoke, out of God’s mouth came fire and smoke. Looked all around me, it looked so fine till I asked my Lord if all was mine.”
From that verse we move into the refrain:
“Every time I feel the Spirit moving in my heart, I will pray. Yes, every time I feel the Spirit moving in my heart, I will pray.”
That spiritual reminds of another very familiar one, “Were You There? If I had been on Mt. Sinai when the Lord descended or in Jerusalem as Jesus made His way to the cross I am certain how I would have felt: “Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.” The coming of the Spirit is not always as gentle as dove descending, for as we see in these spirituals, the Spirit of the Lord can come mightily, and we rightly should be quivering and trembling. An appropriate response is to pray that we may be receptive to what the Spirit would have us do.
Dear God, with the coming of Your Spirit, relieve us of a paralyzing fear and fill us with energy of Your Spirit that we pray to know Your will and are strengthened to do it. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.