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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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Remarkably, we have a teaching God. This is one of those characteristics that sets apart our God from others' "divine beings." We have a God who takes the effort to help us understand how she works in the world and in our lives.

I recall with fondness my 9th grade English teacher, Mr. Brix. While his classes were demanding, they instilled in me a love for words. I reveled in the challenge of living up to his high expectations. This great teacher prompted my love of lifelong learning.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Mr. Brix was comparable to God. I am saying, however, that if I could be in such awe of and grateful for a 9th grade English teacher, how much more it is that I am in awe of and grateful for our supreme teacher, Jesus, who endlessly puts up with students who thought they already knew it all and/or didn't care. Jesus is willing to teach us about himself and his love for us in terms that we can understand. And when we still do not understand, he is patient enough to explain further.

Jesus, our teacher, give us ears to listen as we sit at your feet in awe of and grateful for you. In your patient and determined way, teach us about your radical generosity and the power of your word so that we might "bring forth grain" in the world you love so much.

Shauna Hannan
Associate Professor of Preaching, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C.
Master of Divinity , 1998

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 (NRSV)

1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.
2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach.
3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: "Listen! A sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up.
5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil.
6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away.
7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.
8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
9 Let anyone with ears listen!"
18 "Hear then the parable of the sower.
19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path.
20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away.
22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing.
23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."

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