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, July 31, 2014

I am writing these words during my current sabbatical from parish ministry. As much as I love the people I serve alongside, it is good to be away for a time of rest and renewal. As human beings, we need time apart. If this is true for me, with my small concerns, how much more true it must be for Jesus, who carries the weight of the world. We sometimes forget just how human he was. But he is the Word Incarnate, the truest expression of what it means to be human. Part of our humanity is the need to withdraw from others and reconnect with God. After the death of his relative, John the Baptist, Jesus needs to do exactly this. He takes time away, not because he doesn't love the crowds, but to find the strength to better love and serve them. With this renewed strength, it will be important for us to watch what happens next in Jesus' unfolding story.

God, we are a busy people. We forget that we need to stop, to sit, to rest. Remind us that we can do more when we give our concerns back to you and pause, waiting to see what you will do next. Amen.

David R. Lyle
Pastor, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Pawleys Island, S.C.
Master of Divinity , 2002

Matthew 14:13-21 (NRSV)

13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.
14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.
15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves."
16 Jesus said to them, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat."
17 They replied, "We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish."
18 And he said, "Bring them here to me."
19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
20 And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.
21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

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