GOD PAUSE DAILY DEVOTIONS

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, October 02, 2014

Bullying has become rampant in our schools and workplaces. There are now hot lines and people watching social media sites to monitor these attacks. Other forms of rejection are felt daily by those who some in society have declared of less worth—just choose an age, ethnicity, life style choice, gender or employment status.

This parable speaks to those who see themselves as important, who want to keep control of what they have, even though it wasn't theirs in the first place. This parable speaks to the people of God who are tempted to reject God's ownership of all that is and who try to manipulate situations for their own benefit, even to the extreme of murder. The restoration after such actions can come only with the inclusion of those who will produce fruit that is faithful to God's purposes.

This text makes me wonder whom God is bringing into the kingdom to bear fruit now. How does God continue to call the church today to faithful interaction with others?

Lord of all creation, we confess that we have treated the church as ours instead of yours. Forgive us for our rejection of those different than ourselves. As your Spirit restores us, help us today to work together for your glory. Amen.

Julianne Barlow (Koivisto)
Assistant to the Bishop for Mission,
Synod of Alberta and the Territories,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Calgary, Alberta
Doctor of Ministry , 2012

Matthew 21:33-46 (NRSV)

33 "Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country.
34 When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce.
35 But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
36 Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way.
37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, "They will respect my son.'
38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, "This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.'
39 So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?"
41 They said to him, "He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time."
42 Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is amazing in our eyes'?
43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.
44 The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls."
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them.
46 They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

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