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 15, 2012

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"My kingdom is not from this world." The word kingdom has a tendency to trip us up. History and geography teach us that kingdoms are places on a map that are ruled by monarchs. With that understanding, Jesus' comment to Pilate could lead someone to believe that Jesus' kingdom is in some otherworldly locale.

Jesus' ministry demonstrates that the kingdom or reign of God cannot be limited to any particular geographical or spatial boundary. Rather, the kingdom of God exists any time or in any place where God's hopes and dreams are made real in the lives of others.

I recently pulled up to the drive-thru window at my local coffee shop and the barista handed me my cup of coffee with a smile and said, "No charge. The person in front of you paid for it!" I was blown away by this very simple, random act of kindness. I didn't know my benefactor and he didn't know me, but in a small, strange, caffeinated way, I experienced the kingdom of God. This simple act of generosity in the drive-thru lane offered a glimpse of God's own generous heart and the life to which we are called.

God of surprises, your grace knows no limits. We thank you for the ways in which your love breaks into our well-ordered lives and gives us glimpses of your kingdom. Use us to make your love real in the lives of those who are bound by darkness and fear. Amen.

Michael Peck
Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kan.
Doctor of Ministry, Congregational Mission and Leadership , 2007

John 18:33-37 (NRSV)

33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"

34 Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?"

35 Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?"

36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here."

37 Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."

This week's devotions are offered by a Luther Seminary alum from the graduating class of 2007.