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.


Friday, January 30, 2015

The people of Capernaum marveled at Jesus' manner of teaching. He didn't teach like the scribes, who relied on the authority of tradition. On top of that, they watched him successfully ordering unclean spirits out, giving a dramatic sign of his authority. They were impressed!

Today, we still sense the authority of God's word: for these words not only tell us something, they do something to us. For instance, when we hear the absolution in worship, we not only learn about forgiveness, but we actually experience forgiveness as God casts our sin aside and frees us from whatever bondage grips us. In our last hour God's word will have the power to call us from the grave and create us anew. These are acts of great authority and power.

So don't stand by and scratch your head trying to figure out what's going on. Hear the word from the Holy One of God, and marvel at his authority. Welcome it, but also expect that it will change you.

We praise and worship you Heavenly Father. You have the power to save us, free us and call us to yourself. Amen.

Wendell Debner
Director Emeritus, Doctor of Ministry Program, Luther Seminary
Bachelor of Divinity , 1966

Mark 1:21-28 (NRSV)

21 They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught.
22 They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
23 Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit,
24 and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God."
25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!"
26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.
27 They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, "What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him."
28 At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

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