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 11, 2013

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Things happen with Israel's God! The prophet recalls the Exodus, God's revolutionary making of a way through the sea. The prophet warns against staying focused on the treasured resource of the past, for God is "about to do a new thing." He speaks of God bringing liberation again by sending his servant, Cyrus, to Babylon (Isaiah 44:28, 45:1). God will make "a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert" (Isaiah 43:19).

God's miraculous freedom is not restricted to Israel. Indeed, the response of praise sounds from wild animals, "the jackals and the ostriches" (Isaiah 43:20). Why not from us too? We may live with the oh-so-familiar sense that we are locked into destructive patterns as individuals and in larger social realities. Repentance calls us. But more is possible for us walking with Jesus this season: praise, for God is doing a new thing, even for us.

Liberating God, we praise you for the good word. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17) and the promise that you will pour out your spirit on all flesh (Acts 2:17). Amen.

Paul Sponheim
Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology, Luther Seminary
Master of Divinity , 1957

Isaiah 43:16-21 (NRSV)

16 Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters,

17 who brings out chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:

18 Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.

19 I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

20 The wild animals will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,

21 the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise.

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