Students sitting outside Bockman
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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How does God's Spirit know us? What is the experience of God's Spirit searching the heart which Paul is describing? Can this happen without our knowing, our conscious participation or our involvement? Can God search our hearts if we have concealed them from ourselves? Perhaps we need to reconsider what it means to know anyone outside of ourselves, to acknowledge that we can never know them completely. David Fredrickson calls this "continually postponing knowledge" of the other. Specifically postponing the kind of knowledge that categorizes, that evokes duality, judgment and hierarchy. How else can we understand God's grace if not by searching for without condemning, by opening to without closing off or stipulating? How else can we understand the faith that Paul describes as "the love of God in Christ Jesus"--which is unfazed by violence, shame, distance, hardship, even heavenly powers--except as the grace that is ceaseless and never finished knowing us completely.

Gracious God, come find us wherever we are hiding—in our ideas, in our fears, in our anxieties and even in our hopes. Help us to see you beyond these things. Amen.

Ryan Pusch, '17
Awaiting first call in the Southwest Pennsylvania Synod

Romans 8:26-39 (NRSV)

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.
27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family.
30 And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
32 He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?
33 Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.
35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered."
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.