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.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

"Thank you, God," we mumble through mouthfuls of turkey. But our thoughts may already be focused more on the day of "Thanks--getting," the one we call Black Friday. Smartphones now streamline our searches for the best deals. No more paging through Christmas catalogues and looking at maps, not with GPS and electronic "hear ye, hear ye" ads.

But how can we map the GPS waypoints that lead from Thanksgiving to Thanks-getting and back? By using Psalm 103 as a guiding waypoint we may be reminded of blessings we so easily take for granted: 1. If you've never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are more blessed than many; 2. If you attend church without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are more blessed than many; 3. If you have food, clothing and a place to sleep, you are blessed with more riches than many in this world.

Psalm 103 is a great reminder of these "waypoints" of God's blessings—here are four:

1. God forgives
2. God heals
3. God redeems
4. God crowns us with love and compassion

We thank you, Lord God, for giving us this day our daily bread. We know for sure that you give daily bread without our prayer, even to all the wicked, but we pray you continue leading us to more fully recognize and acknowledge this, and to always receive our daily bread with thanksgiving. Amen.

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

Psalm 103 (NRSV)

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
14 For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children,
18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, obedient to his spoken word.
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will.
22 Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

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