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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Thursday, November 01, 2012

On All Saints' Day, we celebrate the promise Jesus spoke to Martha just before our gospel text: "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live," (John 11:25). Because of Jesus, we look forward to a bright and glorious future.

In the meantime, we still live in a broken world, and death is all too real. Even as we cling to the promise that death is not the end, it is painful to lose people we love. Jesus knows this as well as we do, and he grieves with those who grieve: "When Jesus saw [Mary] weeping, ... he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved ... Jesus began to weep."

Jesus is the resurrection and the life. That gives us hope in the face of suffering. And Jesus is present even in the midst of our sorrow. That gives us comfort as we wait for the fulfillment of God's promises of life.

Compassionate Lord, you wept at the death of your friend, Lazarus, and shared in the grief of his family. Comfort all who mourn the loss of loved ones. Ease their sorrow, wrap them in your loving presence, and fill them with trust in your promise of new and eternal life. Amen.

Amanda Jertson
Trinity Lutheran Church, Hartington, Neb., and Trinity Lutheran Church, Crofton, Neb.
Master of Divinity , 2012

John 11:32-44 (NRSV)

32 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved.

34 He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see."

35 Jesus began to weep.

36 So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"

37 But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"

38 Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.

39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days."

40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, "Father, I thank you for having heard me.

42 "I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me."

43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"

44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."

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This week's devotions are offered by a Luther Seminary alumnus from the graduating class of 2012.