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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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"He turned to me and heard my cry" (40:1b). It is no small thing for us to believe that God listens to us and protects us. In the rhetoric of our current culture we often hear the frustrations of people who feel they are not heard. If we are created in the image of God, how do we reflect this power of being able to listen? "You have given me an open ear..." (verse 6). Or do we just find it easier to tune out of conversations?

When we cannot find ways of having honest communication, anxiety and fear can grow and deepen. Alternatively, there is great beauty in the flow of listening and being heard. In the relationship of hearing and being heard the undercurrent of anxiety, depression, and fear that is around so many is turned to hope. In the simple act of listening to understand we become a light for the world. God listens--can we?

Great God of the universe, we thank you for your great presence. In the concerns of our days, help us to trust that you will send those who wisely listen, and help us to do likewise. Amen.

Erin Martinson, '00
Trinity Lutheran Church, Ventura, Calif.

Psalm 40:1-11 (NRSV)

1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.
4 Happy are those who make the Lord their trust, who do not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods.
5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you. Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be counted.
6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.
7 Then I said, "Here I am; in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; see, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your saving help within my heart, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
11 Do not, O Lord, withhold your mercy from me; let your steadfast love and your faithfulness keep me safe forever.

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