GOD PAUSE DAILY DEVOTIONS

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, September 28, 2012

If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off."

Can you imagine what a great sense of humor Jesus has? Imagine yourself with a millstone around your neck, drowning—with no hands, no feet and blind! That would be reality if you took Jesus literally, because you and I put "stumbling blocks" on people all the time.

Jesus, thank you for your forgiveness that sustains us, despite ourselves. Amen.

William Nordmark
St. James Lutheran Church, Burnsville, Minn.
Master of Divinity , 1979

Mark 9:38-50 (NRSV)

38 John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us."

39 But Jesus said, "Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.

40 "Whoever is not against us is for us.

41 "For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

42 "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.

43 "If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.

45 "And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell.

47 "And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell,

48 "where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

49 "For everyone will be salted with fire.

50 Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."


This week's devotions are offered by a Luther Seminary alum from the graduating class of 1997.