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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Monday, March 03, 2014

The man and woman believe the serpent's words that if they eat the one forbidden fruit in the whole garden, they'll know good and evil (that is, they'll possess all knowledge) and therefore be like God. And then when they take and eat the forbidden fruit, their eyes are in fact opened.

So what do they see? Only one thing is mentioned: they suddenly know they're naked. This doesn't mean that they'd been imagining they were clothed or that they were unaware of their bodies. Remember how the first time he saw the woman, the man exclaimed "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh"!

But now something has changed. They see themselves in a new, unnerving way: as exposed, vulnerable, undeniably earthy—hardly the godlike beings they'd aimed to make themselves. The next thing they'll do is hide from God. But they're not left in hiding. God comes to the garden, calling them out into the open.

We are about to enter the season of Lent, a time when we are invited to answer God's call to come into the open, facing the hard truths of how we break trust with God and each other, remembering how God has joined us in Christ, and listening for the invitation to take and eat the bread of life.

Give me ears to hear your call into the open, gracious God. Help me to know that I can hide nothing from you. And remind me that there is no need to hide, for you are gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Amen.

Jonathan Strandjord
ELCA Churchwide Office, Chicago, Ill.
Master of Divinity , 1978

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7 (NRSV)

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, "You may freely eat of every tree of the garden;
17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die."
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God say, "You shall not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
3 but God said, "You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.' "
4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die;
5 for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.
7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.


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