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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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Next Day

I love the season of Epiphany. Part of that is practical; Epiphany is a bit of a reprieve. All the Christmas activities are over; the Lenten activities haven't started. It is a time when as a pastor I can slow down a bit. But even more, I love the themes of this season: light, revealing and wonder.  This is a time to see and know the Christ who is here with us.

Christmas tells us that the light of God has entered this world in Jesus Christ. Epiphany now calls us to see and live in the light. The eternal Son of God is here in this world, calling us to Himself.

The hymn Songs of Thankfulness and Praise proclaims this beautifully. "Grant us grace to see you, Lord, present in your holy Word." Christ is here! In the pages of Scripture we encounter Him. I would add, in the sacraments we are washed and fed as we meet this Lord. We see our Lord in the community of believers and in the "mutual conversation and consolation of the saints." We meet the Lord in the needs of our neighbors around us. What a joy! We are invited to see Jesus!

Precious Jesus, reveal yourself in this world today. Let us see your hand and know your presence, for you are the one we need. Amen.

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

"Songs of Thankfulness and Praise," ELW 310

1 Songs of thankfulness and praise, Jesus, Lord to thee we raise;
manifested by the star to the sages from afar,
branch of royal David's stem in thy birth at Bethlehem:
anthems be to thee addressed, God in flesh made manifest.

2 Manifest at Jordan's stream, prophet, priest and king supreme;
and at Cana wedding guest in thy God-head manifest;
manifest in pow'r divine, changing water into wine;
anthems be to thee addressed, God in flesh made manifest.

3 Manifest in making whole weakened body, fainting soul;
manifest in valiant fight, quelling all the devil's might;
manifest in gracious will, ever bringing good from ill:
anthems be to thee addressed, God in flesh made manifest.

4 Grant us grace to see thee, Lord, present in thy holy word;
grace to imitate thee now and be pure, as pure art thou;
that we might become like thee at thy great epiphany,
and may praise thee, ever blest, God in flesh made manifest.

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