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Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.


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Friday, April 25, 2014

My seminary class of study on the Gospel of John was ten weeks long. By the end of the 9th week we had managed to cover only the first 18 verses of Chapter One. Dr. Rosenthals said, "If you understand the first 18 verses you will understand the whole book."

From my present perspective, his wisdom back then seems more evident to me because I see more clearly how the words that open and end the Gospel are words of awesome grace. John's story is a witness of gifts which do not end. Chapter 1 sings with news of the "word made flesh, full of grace and truth;" the song continues with the closing list of gifts in Chapter 30. These are gifts of God which make life special and filled with promise. We are those who believe and have life in the name of the one who comes filled with grace and truth.

O God, thanks, for the good news of gift upon gift that you have poured out for us. Amen.

Wayne Radke
Zumbrota, Minn.
Master of Divinity , 1960

John 20:18-31 (NRSV)

18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."
20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin ), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."
26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."
27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe."
28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"
29 Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.
31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

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