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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

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Remember the story of "The Ugly Duckling?" This duckling grew up thinking he was ugly by duck-standards, when he was actually "normal" by swan standards. He couldn't help the fact of who he was at his very core—a beautiful swan in a world of average ducks.

It seems that Jesus can't deny who he is either, even when it goes against basic human survival instincts. He loves people, because God is love. He loves people, even when it's considered unpopular, amoral, or even dangerous. He loves people, even when it gets ugly. And it certainly got ugly. But Jesus has seen our ugly and loves us anyway, because that is who he is, and who he has shown God to be: faithful even when we are faithless. I hope that Timothy remembered that, and I hope you can, too.  

Faithful God, I am so glad that you are you – consistent in love when I am not. Nothing can contain your love for me, and I am so thankful for your faithfulness. Amen.

Lydia Nelson
Pastor, St. Paul Lutheran Church, East Windsor, N.J.
Master of Divinity , 2011

2 Timothy 2:8-15 (NRSV)

8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel,
9 for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained.
10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
11 The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.
14 Remind them of this, and warn them before God that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening.
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.

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