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, November 28, 2014

In Alaska we have two natural measuring sticks or gauges to mark that the end of summer is near. Like the growth and leafing out of the fig tree's new branch, each takes some time to register the change of seasons. One is "read" on its way up; the other on its way down.

When the petals on the fireweed plant bloom, they move up the stalk—displaying a beautiful reddish purple before dropping off one by one, and keeping pace with the course of summer as its end draws near. In the downward direction, the marker is the "termination dust" (otherwise known as snow) that moves down the mountains until the gauge of summer drops to "empty."

New growth signals summer's start; fireweed and termination dust, mark the end of the same. Year after year they follow the same seasonal schedule, perhaps changing by only a few days one way or the other. The rhythm seems predictable, repetitious, progressive, deliberate, unhurried ...

But not so the surprising coming of the kingdom of God. Watch out! Stay awake! Keep alert!

As I wait for the fulfillment of your kingdom, create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew within me a right spirit. Amen.

Keith Muschinske
Chaplain, United States Air Force (retired)
Eagle River, Alaska
Master of Divinity , 1989

Mark 13:24-37 (NRSV)

24 "But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,
25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26 Then they will see "the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory.
27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
28 "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.
31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
32 "But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.
34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.
35 Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn,
36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.
37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake."

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