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Thursday, May 18, 2017

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Commandments! Can't live with 'em; can't live without 'em. At least as Christians we can't. Many of us do not love obeying orders or following rules. But that is often because we have lived our whole lives accountable to one authority figure or another, bound by some code of conduct or governing principle. For many of us, it is impossible to imagine life without such structure. But it only takes one moment of pure chaos--a car wreck, or a dysfunctional government--for us to appreciate the commandments our forebears put in place to protect us. Now imagine if those commandments were handed down not from corruptible people but from Jesus himself! Learning to love keeping such commandments is a little more realistic. Jesus says, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (v. 15). Loving Jesus is learning to love to do what Jesus does and what he commands us to do.

God of love, teach us to love you more fully—to love enough even to keep your commandments. Help us to love to do what you command not only when we feel adrift and in need of order but even when we feel confident and in command of our surroundings. In Jesus' loving name. Amen.

Sam Bardwell, '15
Actor, Minneapolis, Minn.

John 14:15-21 (NRSV)

15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.
17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
18 "I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.
19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.
20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
21 They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them."

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