Students sitting outside Bockman
Previous Day

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

We have all seen countless "No Parking" signs. I have never seen one that said "Feel free to park here and have a great stay." It is almost always easier to define limits than it is to promote opportunities. Consider the limits Paul lists: stealing, evil talk, bitterness, wrath, anger, wrangling, slander, malice. It probably isn't difficult to list the times we have seen others cross these limits, or the times we ourselves have done so. On the other hand, the opportunities that are alternatives to these are less specific and more expansive: labor and work honestly, share with the needy, use words that build up and give grace, be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving. These are limitless in opportunity! Our life in Christ is not seen chiefly in the things we avoid. It is seen instead in the ways we live beyond ourselves, for the sake of others and of the gospel.

God of our sustenance, by your Spirit Jesus lived and loved beyond all limits. Show me how to live in love beyond limit. Amen.

Bryan Woken
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, West Hills, Calif.
Master of Divinity , 1984

Ephesians 4:25-5:2 (NRSV)

25 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.
26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
27 and do not make room for the devil.
28 Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy.
29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.
31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice,
32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,
2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

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