Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2018
Texts: John 16:8-11; Romans 5:10; Hebrews 4:15, 16; 1 Peter 5:8, 9; 1 John 5:12, 13; Psalms 31:24
Joe Momsen didn’t actually build the town of Vadnais Heights, Minnesota. But at a ceremony last week honoring his dedicated work there, they called it, “Joe’s Town.” The late public works superintendent made sure the city was in tip-top shape for nearly 40 years. Momsen, 56, was so dedicated that he worked up until he passed away from lung cancer last September.
Joe even worked the Heritage Days parade last summer when he was sick from radiation. “He was just so dedicated to the people,” said his wife Rita. Joe grew up in Vadnais Heights and took a job in the city public works department shortly after high school graduation. He worked there ever since. “Joe was known to staff and residents as the first and most steadfast public works employee,” City Engineer Mark Graham said. “He worked on all our streets and likely was in every manhole.”
“This is Joe's town,” Rita added. “Joe built this town. He liked to work.” He often got up at 1:30 a.m. to check the snow level to see if he needed to call in the crew. He would apologize for calling them in and often took care of issues so others wouldn't have to come in. “We still find it takes a small army to take care of the things he used to do on his own,” Graham noted. City staff presented Rita and her family with a plaque honoring Joe last week. “This is why Vadnais is a great place,” said Mayor Bob Fletcher. “It is because your husband made this a great place.”1
We are often known and remembered for our work—what we do in life, but more importantly, how we make people feel as a result of what we do. As we see in this week’s Sabbath School lesson, the Holy Spirit is a tireless worker. God’s Spirit never sleeps, and never takes a day off. More importantly, the Spirit affects how we feel.
Sometimes those feelings are jarring. If we are in danger, the Spirit convicts us of our sin so that we’ll back off from that danger. If we need to learn to rely on Christ’s righteousness instead of our own, the Spirit shows us our weakness in that area. A true friend is one who tells us what we need to know, even if that news is unsettling at times.
The Spirit also works as a helper. When we grieve, the Spirit is our divine Comforter. When we doubt our standing with God, the Spirit works to give us assurance of God’s love and hope of salvation. According to Thursday’s lesson, “The foundation of hope is found in Jesus on the cross.” God’s Spirit works tirelessly to give us that hope in our lives every day.
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