Students sitting outside Bockman
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Monday, February 20, 2017

When I first drove across the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in Taos, N.M., it took my breath away. Beneath my Chevy was an 800 foot drop to the river below. We all have probably encountered something in God's creation that caused us to gasp. For the Israelites, I imagine it was the cloud that took their breath away. This cloud, which had led, protected and admonished them, was now settled on Mt. Sinai. Make no mistake, this cloud was to be feared--it was a devouring fire after all. And it was to be revered--for in it was the glory of God!

Held in tension here are God's holiness and God's nearness. The former shakes us; the latter comforts us. Awesome terror coupled with loving presence. Contemplating God's sovereignty and greatness in light of his intimate care and nearness--now that should take our breath away!

Holy Lord, thank you for being a God that can be known. You are awesome beyond our understanding, yet you draw us near. What amazing grace. Amen.

Laurie Neill, '12
Discipleship Pastor, First Lutheran Church, Fargo, N.D.

Exodus 24:12-18 (NRSV)

12 The Lord said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction."
13 So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God.
14 To the elders he had said, "Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them."
15 Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain.
16 The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud.
17 Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.
18 Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.