Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.


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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The letter inviting me to an ecumenical service of prayer for Christian unity began, "Dear fellow workers in the vineyard of the Lord." This psalm, using the imagery of God's vineyard, helps us to place ourselves in the midst of the ancient, the present and the future life of God's work in the world. God''s vineyard is a place of deep roots with vines that fill the land. It is apparently also a place in need of constant restoration. The same has been and will be true for all people gathered together and committed to serve God.

This cry to God is a statement of continued faith followed by the plea, "but I don't understand why." As the church faces decline and uncertainty with hope and trust in God's restoring power, we join in this ancient plea "Turn again O God ... have regard for this vine, the stock that your right hand planted."

Lord of all, we confess that we think we know what is best and too often ignore your work in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Help us to recognize your healing grace. Restore us again we pray. Amen.

Julianne Barlow (Koivisto)
Assistant to the Bishop for Mission,
Synod of Alberta and the Territories,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Calgary, Alberta
Doctor of Ministry , 2012

Psalm 80:7-15 (NRSV)

7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches;
11 it sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.
12 Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13 The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.
14 Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine,
15 the stock that your right hand planted.

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