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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Friday, April 17, 2015

"While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering ... " What a fantastic way to describe what it's like to be met by the resurrected Christ. Dear readers, I invite you to a) speak those words aloud, memorizing them, and b) let those words hold on to you throughout the day. You might be almost become giddy if you really ponder their meaning.

There's a faith-forming tension here. For the disciples there was a lack of surety, an incompleteness, that fueled their desire for God. Living these millennia later, we are tempted to settle into familiar doctrinal prescriptions and so avoid the unease of joy, disbelief and wonder that belong to the amazing announcement, "He is risen!" But we might take a cue from Martin Luther: ecclesia semper reformanda, "The church is always in need of reforming." Our baptismal calling is about being surprised by the Spirit of the Resurrected Christ, for as St. Paul writes, "If we have been joined with him in a death like his, we will certainly be raised in a resurrection like his."

Dear Jesus, give us room for faith-forming tension that surprises anew each day with the good news of the resurrection. Amen.

James Aalgaard
Pastor, Grace Lutheran Church, Wenatchee, Wash.
Master of Divinity , 2000

Luke 24:36b-48 (NRSV)

Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
38 He said to them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."
40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
43 and he took it and ate in their presence.
44 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled."
45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,
46 and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,
47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48 You are witnesses of these things.

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