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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Friday, August 22, 2014

Next Day

There is usually a point in every great endeavor when there is no turning back. Up here in the northern part of the country, it usually happens during bad winter weather (yes, I know it's August now and you don't want to think about winter). But if you have lived where the snow flies, then you know about those times of leaving to go somewhere, when the weather suddenly turns nasty and the roads get bad and you wonder if you should turn around and go back. We don't always know where that magical point of no return is, but we often make our best guess based on road reports and cell phones.

Peter has crossed this point of no return in this text. In his answer to the question of Jesus, he confesses, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." This is a huge thing to admit! It completely changes his role from following a beloved teacher to following one who is God's Messiah. And if he didn't realize it before, he has to know now that they could all be in deep trouble for blasphemy if his confession is misplaced or false. It is a turning point in the gospel of Matthew, but it is also the point of no return. Peter has no idea what is ahead for them all, but he also knows that he can do no other; his life is being transformed and he must admit that Jesus is the Messiah.

You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. As we contend with turning points in our lives, be our strength. We may not know what lies ahead, but we also know we cannot turn back. Open our hearts and minds to know your will for us. Amen.

Sarah Raymond
Pastor, Calvary Lutheran Church, Grand Forks, N.D.
Master of Divinity , 2013

Matthew 16:13-20 (NRSV)

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

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