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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Saturday, November 10, 2012

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We live in a world where it is so easy to get caught up in the charms of success, boasting, and vanity. The gospel story for this week makes clear that this is not just a modern dilemma. The humility and sacrifice seen in the widow's gift does not come naturally. Instead, Jesus leads us by word and example, empowering us to follow this "Son of Man who came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for all" (Mark 10:45).

This "all" includes you and me, and compels us to contemplate the depth of God's love for us on the cross. This familiar Lenten hymn invites us to ponder the widow's gift against the background of the cross and a "love so amazing, so divine" it "demands my soul, my life, my all."

Gracious Savior, on the cross you poured out your love for us as the gift of life and salvation. Teach us by that gift to value all of life in terms of your love and forgiveness, and in humility to follow you in loving service to our neighbor. Amen.

James Boyce
Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek, Luther Seminary
Master of Divinity , 1971

“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” ELW 803

1 When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

2 Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

3 See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

4 Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

This week's devotions are offered by a Luther Seminary alum from the graduating class of 2005.