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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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Next Day

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? Perhaps John 3:16 or Romans 8:38-39? The only Bible in the early church was the Hebrew Scriptures, often referred to by Christians as the "Old Testament." Among the leaders of the early church, the favorite verse seems to have been Psalm 118:22 (it's quoted at least five times in the New Testament). Jesus Christ, the "stone" rejected by the Jewish authorities, was specifically chosen by God to become the cornerstone of and entirely new enterprise: the Kingdom of God.

To the "rejects" of this world -- to a small and often despised early Christian community -- this was genuinely good news, a cause for laughter and rejoicing.

Master Builder of the Church and the World, we sometimes question your choice of materials. What the world considers a "reject," you value as precious. Include us in your master plan, and bind us firmly to your cornerstone, Jesus. May we rejoice to be "living stones" in the body of Christ. Amen.

Grant Aaseng
Shalom Lutheran Church, Alexandria, Minn.

Psalm 118:14-29 (NRSV)

14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

15 Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: "The LORD's right hand has done mighty things!

16 "The LORD's right hand is lifted high; the LORD's right hand has done mighty things!"

17 I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.

18 The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.

19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.

20 This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter.

21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.

22 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;

23 the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25 O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success.

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you.

27 The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you.

29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

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