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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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Next Day

Happy New Year, Child of God! God has great plans for YOU! This passage from Ephesians reminds me of my baptism. I invite you, too, to think of the words that were spoken when the pastor made the sign of the cross on your forehead. "Child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever." You might think of it as your first tattoo! And it's permanent! You are God's child forever.

I see Baptism as our being bubble wrapped by God. We are wrapped up in God's love and mercy and grace. We are given God's constant protection and care. Sure we still get lost, bruised, and even broken, but through Christ we are restored to newness of life again and again. There is nothing we can do to make God love us any less. There is nothing we can do to make God love us any more. God loves us, period! We are in God's care and keeping forever. Rejoice today and throughout the New Year in that good news. Know that you are blessed beyond belief and called to be a blessing to others.

Gracious God, thank you for calling us and claiming us as your own. Help us to remember who we are and whose we are as we live out our Baptismal promise for the praise of your glory. AMEN!

Meg Sander
Pastor of Children, Youth and Family, First Lutheran Church, Kearney, Neb.

Ephesians 1:3-14 (NRSV)

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.
5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace
8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight
9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ,
10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will,
12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.
13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit;
14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory.

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