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, September 05, 2013

Next Day

If you live in Minnesota you know about the anxiety surrounding the building of a nearly one billion-dollar football stadium for the Vikings football team. No one denies that the proposed building will be a great venue for football, soccer and other activities, but the questions surrounding this project are not unlike the question that Jesus asked his disciples; "Are we going to be able to pay for this monument?"

The city doesn't want to pay for it, the Minnesota taxpayers say that they cannot afford it, and the owners don't want to pay for it. It is one thing to choose to build a colossal structure, but it becomes foolishness if no one accurately counts the cost. As I write this devotion the owners of the Vikings are in the courts and many worry they may not have the money to pay their share.

When Jesus made the choice to leave Galilee and go to Jerusalem, he had counted the cost; he knew that this trip would likely bring suffering and even death. "If you choose to follow me all the way to Jerusalem," Jesus kept telling his disciples, "You must first count the cost; you must be willing to give up everything, even your life. It is one thing to chose to be a follower of the promised Messiah, but it means nothing if you can't pay the cost."

The texts for this week ask us to reflect on our choices. Today, we are asked to examine whether we are willing to pay the cost of following Jesus.

We confess, Lord Jesus, that we would like to follow you but at no cost to our possessions and safety. Give us the courage to back up our choices. Amen!

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

Luke 14:25-33 (NRSV)

25 Now great multitudes accompanied him; and he turned and said to them,
26 "If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
30 saying, 'This man began to build, and was not able to finish.'
31 Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace.
33 So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

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