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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Sunday, December 02, 2012

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First Sunday in Advent

The Advent imagery of this hymn is waiting for the greatest of all weddings to take place. The whole world waited for wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton to take place last spring. Part of my family has lived in Windsor, England, the past three years. I remember hearing from my daughter-in-law how they waited for hours, pressed against the iron fence surrounding Buckingham Palace, just to get a glimpse and a couple of pictures of the royal family in procession.

I am writing these words only days after I have had the privilege of participating in a wedding. I had talked with bride and groom for months about all the preparations for this extraordinarily beautiful wedding and marriage feast. I can't remember ever doing so much waiting, but it was worth it.

It is easy to equate Advent with fear and judgment. It is good to be able to remind ourselves that we are waiting for the great wedding celebration.

Dear Jesus, we feel as giddy as a bride this Sunday as we wait to be forever united with you in marriage. Amen.

Hub Nelson
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Edina, Minn. (Retired)
Master of Divinity , 1962

"Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers," ELW 244

1 Rejoice, rejoice, believers, and let your lights appear;
the evening is advancing, and darker night is near.
The bridegroom is arising and soon is drawing night.
Up, pray and watch and wrestle; at midnight comes the cry.

2 The watchers on the mountain proclaim the bridgegroom near;
go forth as he approaches with alleluias clear.
The marriage feast is waiting; the gates wide open stand.
Arise, O heirs of glory; the bridgefroom is at hand.

3 The saints, who here in patience their cross and suff'rings bore,
shall live and reign forever when sorrow is no more.
Around the throne of glory the Lamb they shall behold;
in triumph cast before him their diadems of gold.

4 Our hope and expectation, O Jesus, now appear;
arise, O Sun so longed for, o'er this benighted sphere.
With hearts and hands uplifted, we plead, O Lord, to see
the day of earth's redemption that sets your people free!

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