GOD PAUSE DAILY DEVOTIONS

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, February 02, 2013

Those who worshiped in the synagogue in Nazareth that day at the beginning of Jesus' ministry were doubly astounded. First, that they should hear that the fulfillment of God's wonderful promises was taking place "today" in their hearing. And even more astounding was that the speaker of good news should be one of their own, Joseph's son. In the end it strained their credulity and they would not believe.

The mystery of the incarnation, that the very savior of the world should be born of a young woman and laid in a manger, is always almost too wonderful for us to grasp. "What child is this?" well captures our astonishment. It needs to sneak up on us and catch us unawares, as in the beauty and poetry of this beloved ballad. This, this child sleeping on Mary's lap is indeed the King of kings who brings salvation "for us, today." Indeed, let us come to own him as our own, this one who pleads for us before God's throne of mercy.

O God, may our wonder never cease as we contemplate the mystery of your incarnation. May our questions never turn us away but melt our imaginations and our hearts to receive this Jesus, born in a manger, as our Lord and Savior. Amen.

James Boyce
Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Luther Seminary
Master of Divinity , 1971

"What Child is This?" ELW 296

1 What Child is this, who, laid to rest,
on Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
while shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the king,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
haste, haste, to bring him laud,
the babe, the son of Mary

2 Why lies he in such mean estate
where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear; for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.

Nails, spear shall pierce him through,
the cross be borne for me, for you;
hail, hail the Word made flesh,
the babe, the son of Mary.

3 So bring him incense, gold and myrrh;
Come peasant, king, to own him,
The King of kings salvation brings;
let loving hearts enthrone him.

Raise, raise the song on high,
the virgin sings her lullaby;
joy, joy for Christ is born,
the babe, the son of Mary.

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