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, July 08, 2013

Next Day

The setting is 39th and Broadway in New York City. I had taken the train from Princeton and was on my way to buy tickets for a play. On the way from Penn Station I saw a man lying on the sidewalk. I couldn't tell if he was sleeping, comatose, or dead. No one paid any attention to the body. They either walked around him or over him. Some threw their garbage on him in disgust. An older lady, however, stopped and gazed at the man.

She put down her two shopping bags containing her earthly belongings, reached down, and touched his face. Assured that he was just sleeping, she gently picked off the garbage scraps and adjusted his stocking cap. She then picked up her bags and made her way down Broadway.

The man in our gospel lesson for this week asked, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus' answer was not some heavenly formula but rather some earthly counsel for living as a neighbor, living the authentic life. That will be our theme for this week.

Lord Jesus, teach me to live the gift of eternal life as I journey today. Amen.

Hubert Nelson
Eden Prairie, Minn.
Master of Divinity , 1962

Luke 10:25-37 (NRSV)

25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?"
27 He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."
28 And he said to him, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live."
29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30 Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.
31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity.
34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, "Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.'
36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?"
37 He said, "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

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