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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Thursday, August 28, 2014

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I often wonder why Peter was chosen as "the rock" on which Jesus says he will build his church. The way Peter is depicted in the various gospel accounts paints the picture of an impulsive man, one that never hesitates to open his mouth and promptly put his foot in it. Here we see Jesus instructing the disciples on what is to come, giving them insights into the role of the Messiah. True to character, Peter wastes no time in rebuking Jesus, the very presence of God in human form.

While Jesus immediately puts Peter in his place, it raises the question of whether Peter was chosen for his important leadership role in the church after Jesus' ascension precisely because he was prone to speaking out. In this sense he was important not because of his impulsive statements that often lacked much sense (see Mark 9:5-6, Matthew 26:35), but because he had the courage and boldness to say them out loud. May we be as bold and courageous in our proclamation of the good news of Jesus.

Heavenly Father, in our lives of faith we often encounter truth that we fail to understand because our ways are not your ways. Help us to follow the example of Peter and be bold in our proclamation, yet humble at the same time. May our proclamation be shaped and guided by the Holy Spirit, so that we may represent the body of Christ in a way that is pleasing to you. Amen.

Scott Dalen
Pastor, Underwood Lutheran Church, Underwood, Iowa
Master of Divinity , 2013

Matthew 16:21-28 (NRSV)

21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you."
23 But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?
27 "For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done.
28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

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