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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Monday, January 14, 2013

Next Day

A lawyer friend of mine tells of representing the defendant in a capital murder trial. The defendant was guilty; he had brutally slain two people. My friend tells me the defendant was the most repulsive human being he had ever met. The defendant was rude, mean and oblivious to the pain he caused. The trial ended with the man sentenced to death.

When the trial was reviewed, there were some irregularities in the process. That meant a mandatory appeal. A few years later, my friend represented the same defendant in the appeals court. The man had become a Christian while in prison. My friend tells me he has never seen such a change. The defendant was kind, respectful, conscientious and honest about his guilt. He was re-sentenced to death. His final words before his execution were, "I come to you humble, sorry and repentant. Warden, I am ready to go home, please."

Our reading from Isaiah proclaims that God will take what is desolate and make it new. That is the wonder of our God.

Holy God, make us new in your grace. Amen.

Mark Braaten
Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, Tyler, Tex.
Master of Divinity, 1981; Doctor of Ministry , 2005

Isaiah 62:1-5 (NRSV)

1 For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch.

2 The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give.

3 You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

4 You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate;
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married.

5 For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

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