Discerning Spirit

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (New Revised Standard Version)

Baguio City is 2,799 feet up a mountain. It doesn’t snow there – it’s the tropics. You get 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night, temperatures 70° to 80° with bright sun, or hard rain. As Christmas approached, a group of US Peace Corps volunteers, hoping to find a little seasonal change, arrived in Baguio on December 23, looking for room in an Inn. The Inn was nestled in pine trees, the air-cooled to 55°. It was beginning to look and feel like Christmas!

The next day someone noticed a small Lutheran church offering a Christmas Eve service. Consternation arose – the closest any had been to church in almost a year in the Philippines was the home of Baptist missionaries in the capital city of our province. Mrs. Case made glazed doughnuts every Saturday and welcomed homesick Americans. But now we were faced with real church. There was no question in my mind because I missed my parents. My father was a pastor.

Some of us went to church. We sang hymns, heard the familiar reading from Luke 2, but was it nostalgia or returning to the Body of Christ? I spent three years thinking about that, but then I had to answer. We passed through Indonesia on our way home, and a woman called to me across a government office we were in, “Are you saved?” With some hesitation, I called back over the heads of several workers, “Yes!”  “Praise the Lord!” she replied. My mind was blown!

Prayer: Lord, we cannot be removed from you. Discerning Spirit, you renew our minds and give us all that is good and acceptable and perfect. Let us notice without a doubt when you do this – and praise you!

Marcia – Cohort 4: Inspire. Ignite. Invite.

Calvary Lutheran Church, Angola, IN