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, March 05, 2014

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Adam and Christ, what a way to begin Lent!

Through the one man (Adam) come the pervasive realities and all-encompassing consequences of the powers of destruction. From the very beginning of life, brokenness spreads throughout the world and holds the universe in death's devastating grip. Through the lens of the good, the right and the beautiful, most succinctly expressed in God's law, humankind becomes painfully aware of its destructive, catastrophic predicament. Adam's and Moses' legacies are revealing, but of no avail. Ash Wednesday etches the reality of the grip of death into our consciousness.

In the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, comes the pervasive realities and all-encompassing consequences of the powers of life. In Jesus Christ's life, death and resurrection comes a right relationship with God that breaks death's grip and offers new life as a free gift. In the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ this power of life brings restoration and reconciliation in the world—most dramatically in overcoming the destructive, catastrophic grip of death. Ash Wednesday etches this reality into our body and spirits.

Gracious God, on this day we thank you for etching into our consciousness the reality of our brokenness and its catastrophic consequences. Through the gracious presence of Jesus Christ grant us forgiveness, peace and the foundations of new life.

Roland Martinson
Professor Emeritus, Children, Youth & Family and Pastoral Care

Romans 5:12-19 (NRSV)

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned—
13 sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law.
14 Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man's trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many.
16 And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification.
17 If, because of the one man's trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
18 Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.
19 For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.

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