By: John Reiter

Posted: January 9, 2023

Category: Daily Devotional

As we begin a new year, it is common to pause and reflect on the past year and think about what may lie ahead. It is also a time, when we can consider all of God’s blessings and presence in the joyous and challenging moments of 2022. In Psalm 40, we hear David extoling God’s kindness and deliverance and stating that God has put a new song in his mouth.

Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit,
    out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
    and put their trust in the Lord.
Happy are those who make
    the Lord their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
    to those who go astray after false gods.
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
    your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
    none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
    they would be more than can be counted.

As we enter the new year, I wonder what new songs we will sing in 2023? Where is God active in your life and inspiring song? Songs are an important way that we can express our faith; hymns (whether new or ancient) can help us reflect on God’s role in our daily lives. In the coming weeks the pastoral staff will be exploring songs that have shaped our faith. Specifically, we will be lifting up selections from our hymnal and praise songs that have significance for each of us. We invite you to journey with us and consider the songs of your faith that hold special meaning.

Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness is a newer hymn (1975…newer in comparison to most of the songs in our hymnal) and I love how it captures the scope and activity of the Holy Spirit. I have heard it sung most often at Pentecost, but its simple arrangement results in its use in a variety of settings, including camps and retreats. In particular, I love how the refrain captures the gentleness of the Spirit, but also the restlessness that is always in action and continually calling me to action. I also treasure the way the verses detail the role of the Holy Spirit throughout our faith story (creation, wandering the wilderness, and the birth, life, and death of Christ) and then focus on the ongoing work of the Spirit today and tomorrow. Truly, the Holy Spirit continues to gently call us to action in our world so that we may be restless in our pursuit of God’s kingdom.


Holy God, we thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Open me to the gentle push of the Spirit so that I may be Your instrument of love and grace in the world. Help me to recognize Your goodness and deliverance. Inspire in me a new song of praise and thanksgiving that I may sing those word of gratitude in word and deed. Amen.