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Friday, April 05, 2013

Next Day

My father was the company clerk (think Corporal O'Reilly from MASH) for his army unit in France in the spring of 1945. One day an un-coded message was received by my father: The Germans had surrendered! The war was over!

My father's commanding officer, however, was not convinced. It could be a hoax, or worse, a Nazi ploy to lull them into a state of unpreparedness. He would not believe such a message without further proof.

All over the world, people rushed out into the streets, dancing and singing with tremendous joy. Not sure if they could believe the news, my father's regiment did not celebrate that day.

Gracious God, how fortunate are we to believe what we have yet to see proven. Even now we are set free to laugh and dance and sing, knowing that the final victory is assured. May we continue to pray for and have compassion on those who cannot yet believe such good news. Amen.

Grant Aaseng
Shalom Lutheran Church, Alexandria, Minn.

John 20:24-30 (NRSV)

24 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.

25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"

27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

28 Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"

29 Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.

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