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, June 24, 2013

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Passing on the leadership of faith in troubling times was a sign of hope and an invitation to trust.

Elijah found Elisha doing his daily work in the field. 
With the placing of Elijah's cloak upon Elisha, a new prophet was born. Elisha's life was re-purposed.

Elijah rebuked Elisha for wishing to say goodbye to his parents before following. Elisha's call indicated a new dedication—to serve God alone. Elisha's response to Elijah's rebuke was to make a sacrifice and prepare a meal. What once had been used to plow, was now re-purposed to feed... a prophetic stew. Elisha—now become an assistant prophet—then followed and plowed not fields and soil but people's hearts with God's Word.

Today the Church commemorates the dedication of John the Baptist. At his dubious naming the question arose, "What then will this child become?" (Luke 1:66). John—another to whom the leadership of faith was passed during troubling times—turns people's hearts to prepare the way of the Lord.

Pondering the call of Elisha and the dedication of John, we may ask ourselves, "What is God making me to become? How will God re-purpose me for service?"

Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. ("Evening Prayer," Lutheran Book of Worship)

Marc Hander
Pastor, Advent Lutheran Church, Arlington, TX
Master of Divinity , 2000

1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21 (NRSV)

15 Then the Lord said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram.
16 Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place.
19 So he set out from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was plowing. There were twelve yoke of oxen ahead of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle over him.
20 He left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, "Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you." Then Elijah said to him, "Go back again; for what have I done to you?"
21 He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant.

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