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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

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With his exhortation to "stand firm," the Apostle Paul acknowledges that the allure and distractions of this world are real and powerful. He goes so far as to equate those who are set on earthly things as "enemies" of what Jesus went to the cross for. Such a strong term should give us a jolt--which is likely what Paul intended. But how is it possible to be part of this world and not have our minds "set" on the things of daily life: food, shelter, pro sports, etc.?

Paul promotes himself as worthy of emulation in this regard, but he also suggests paying attention to others who live according to his example. Where are these "others?" I think of a faith community, where Christ's rule is proclaimed and where once a week, or perhaps more often, we have a chance to pull out our original passports and remind ourselves, and each other, of our true destination and home--the Commonwealth of Heaven.

Lord, be our vision. Help us to see beyond the borders of the nation states of this world to where our most valid citizenship rightly belongs. Amen.

Bruce Eldevik
Reference and Special Collections, Luther Seminary Library
Master of Arts , 1989

Philippians 3:17-4:1 (NRSV)

17 Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us.
18 For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears.
19 Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
21 He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.
1 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

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