Students sitting outside Bockman
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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

For the Advent season we are looking back and reflecting on the previous week's readings.

A life of faith is a journey ever deeper into that righteousness of God that has been made known to us in Jesus. Our hope, as we light the Advent candles and perhaps open daily an Advent calendar, is to grow ever more in that righteousness, to experience it continually in our lives. This is the hope in which we live by faith. This is the hope that Paul writes about in Romans--a hope that expresses itself in reconciliation as the faithful community lives in harmony, not in judgment. Together in this hope, God is praised. "With one voice" we glorify God. This praise is not simply the praise of our songs but praise that is a shared hope. Our praise is also as specific as a shared welcome: welcome one another. This radical welcome knows no boundaries or color or class.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dirk G. Lange
Associate Dean, Graduate Theological Education and Fredrik A. Schiotz Chair of Missions and Professor of Worship, Luther Seminary

Romans 15:4-13 (NRSV)

4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.
5 May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus,
6 so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs,
9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, "Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your name";
10 and again he says, "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people";
11 and again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him";
12 and again Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope."
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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