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Monday, February 22, 2016

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This passage from Isaiah is almost counterintuitive, especially when read during the season of Lent. "Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." What is God doing here? What about self-denial and giving to the poor? Is God really freely giving to God's people? Yes. The prophet is reminding us that all we need comes from God. Yet, as the prophet clearly points out, we so often spend our energy on things that do not sustain our life. We are being called to keep in check what we actually need to live on day by day and only use our share. If we look at our lives in terms of what we need and through that which truly satisfies, then we are freed to live for each other. We are broken from the chains that bind and weigh us down--freed to be part of people of every nation, calling all peoples together.

Lord, you provide us with so much in this life. Free us from what holds us back. Free us from the possessions that weigh us down and from that which does not satisfy. Let us live in you as you live in us so that we may glorify your name wherever we go. Amen.

Dustin Nelson
Assistant to the Seminary Pastor, Luther Seminary
Master of Arts , 2009

Isaiah 55:1-9 (NRSV)

1 Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.
5 See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

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