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.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It is good to negotiate from a position of strength. The opposite seems to be the situation we encounter in these verses from Psalm 80, however. The words would seem to suggest much more that of a Keebler elf versus Godzilla, of putting the cart before the horse.

The psalmist seems to say "Listen up, God! Come on down! And oh, by the way, quit making us laughing-stocks through your delay!" And just when we might think the psalmist can't get much more "in God's face," we hear more words to this effect: "And once you've bailed us out, then we'll never turn from you. Give us life, then we will call on your name."

But then we might recall after all ... we are in the days just before Advent, so ... before we prepare the way of the Lord—before we prepare for his once and future coming, I guess we need to prepare ourselves. We need to face the fact that no matter how many times we claim we'll never turn from God, it doesn't take long to stray.

Good and gracious God, be patient with us, even when we pretend we can set the terms for your intervention in our lives. Forgive us, prepare us, deliver us—all under the umbrella of your gracious will. Amen.

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

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 (NRSV)

1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!
3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
4 O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people's prayers?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6 You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.
7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.
18 Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.
19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

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