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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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Salvation comes as pure gift. Through God's mercy we are made into God's people. We who were on the fringes are chosen, brought into the royal family of our Lord and King, and set apart as a holy people. Part of the good news is that God continues to seek those on the fringes. Stones that the world would reject are called to be living stones to be built up, along with us, into a spiritual house. Those, including us, who were not a people are now God's people. Those, including us, who had not received mercy have now received mercy.

Will we seek to sequester ourselves from those who seem estranged from God? Will we cast judgment and shame on those who appear rejected? Or will we grow into the likeness of the one in whom we have received salvation by welcoming and engaging them? Will we seek to allow God to mature us and those who come in from the fringes with us into the center of God's mercy and the joy of a community that speaks, welcomes and lives salvation?

God, you call that which is not into being, life and community. Thank you. Amen.

Karl Hester, '01
Pastor, Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran, Salem, Ore.

1 Peter 2:2-10 (NRSV)

2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation--
3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4 Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and
5 like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6 For it stands in scripture: "See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."
7 To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,"
8 and "A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

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