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, August 01, 2014

It's not difficult to see what's wrong with the world. There is war and oppression. There is sickness and sorrow. There is hunger. It's easy to see what's wrong, but it seems hard to know what can be done about it. The disciples had no trouble diagnosing the troubling situation around them. A crowd had come to follow Jesus to find healing, but had collectively forgotten to pack a lunch. The disciples point this out to Jesus and his response speaks volumes: "You give them something to eat" (Matthew 14:16). But what could they give? All they had was five loaves and two fish, a laughable amount for such a crowd. But through Jesus even what little they have becomes enough. The crowds are fed and sent away full, with leftovers for the fridge. With God's abundance comes a call: Don't just see the problem. Be the way God will solve it.

Abundant God, there is so much trouble in the world. It can overwhelm us. Open our eyes to your plenteous goodness and inspire us to be means of grace in the world. 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.