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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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

She lived the Eighth Commandment. That's what I said of my mother at the time of her funeral in 2001. Beyond the "not bearing false witness" part, I was specifically referring to the "putting the most charitable construction" part of Luther's explanation (words I learned in confirmation). To the occasional chagrin of her children who came storming home after a schoolyard spat, she would gently explore why the offending child may have acted in the way she or he did—the most charitable construction. By her words and example, we learned and grew. More than just the sentiments of a dutiful son, these thoughts are echoed by a cousin who similarly says of her aunt: "She was the most affirming person I have known."

Not out to gain favor by force or manipulation, Paul seeks to affirm God's people of Thessalonica as would a nurse tenderly caring for her children. The gospel is not some abstract concept but the giving of one's self in service to and for others.

We thank you, O God, for those who have gone before us in faith and have shown us the way to life in you. May we give ourselves in service to others as others have given of themselves in Jesus’ name. Amen

Lanny Knutson
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Master of Divinity , 1969

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 (NRSV)

1 You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain,
2 but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition.
3 For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery,
4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts.
5 As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed;
6 nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others,
7 though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children.
8 So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

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