Students sitting outside Bockman
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Thursday, August 27, 2015

My grandmother regularly had people over for meals. In addition to her five children, their spouses and her grandchildren, she would include at her dinner table friends and neighbors and people who were new in the area. Her meals were prepared with joy and care. She was the last to sit and the first to get up. Those who ate at her table were called to be present and graciously attentive with one another.

Our lives of faith are marked by rituals and traditions that have become a part of who we are as communities of faith. We don't always think about why we live out our faith in the forms we have chosen. Yet it is important to pay attention to how we choose to express hospitality, love for our neighbor and our commitment to our faith communities. What is at the core of our activities? How and why and with what effect do we do the things we do with and for one another?

Creator God, bring us your wisdom and desire to care for one another and longing to be present with all your creation. Amen.

Erin Martinson
Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church
Ventura, Calif.
Master of Divinity , 2000

Mark 7:1-8 (NRSV)

1 Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him,
2 they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them.
3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders;
4 and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles. )
5 So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?"
6 He said to them, "Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, "This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;
7 in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.'
8 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition."

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