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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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We know that Peter was an able evangelist. According to the author of Luke-Acts, he was even capable of making spontaneous and lengthy speeches. In this letter Peter speaks of "suffering for what is right" (v. 14) and "suffering for doing good" (v. 17), as well as "not being intimidated" (v. 14). This takes on a particularly sobering resonance when we think of the kind of death Peter is believed to have died. I believe he was still evangelizing to the end, still coming up with material for more epistles with his dying breath, still preaching the good news. He was suffering for what is right. It is another common belief that what most people fear more than anything, even death, is public speaking. Most people avoid such vulnerability at all costs. They would rather not suffer in this way, whether it is for good or not! But we, like Peter, must not be intimidated: "Do not fear what they fear" (v. 14).

God in Christ, may we sanctify you in our hearts always. May we be willing to suffer for what is good and right, in your nameā€”even, and especially, when it makes us vulnerable, when we must open our mouths to do so. May we proclaim your name without fear and never be intimidated. In Jesus' fearless name. Amen.

Sam Bardwell, '15
Actor, Minneapolis, Minn.

1 Peter 3:13-22 (NRSV)

13 Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good?
14 But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated,
15 but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you;
16 yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame.
17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God's will, than to suffer for doing evil.
18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit,
19 in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison,
20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.
21 And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you--not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

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