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Thursday, August 03, 2017

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It's difficult in the depths of grief to do much more than grieve. Many know this from experience, and for the rest that experience is yet to come. In this week's gospel, we even see Christ, God incarnate, show his humanity in grief and his desire to be alone. But the needs of his people are enough to pull him out of the depths of his despair. This may be no surprise for an act of the Savior, but we find comfort in knowing that he grieved as we grieve. Christ walks with us through grief, and not around it. So in this week of imitating Christ, why shouldn't we pray to be pulled out of grief when there are those in need all around us? It is possible for this to happen in us, because it was possible in Christ. I've seen it manifest in a pastor who, even in the depths of despair after losing a child in early pregnancy after years of trying, was pulled out of grief when someone was in need.

Comforting healer, guide us safely through all that may grieve us in this life. Lead us through to the hope we have in Jesus, a hope we see even in our darkest despair. Amen.

Kyle Svennungsen, '14
Associate Pastor, St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church, Prairie du Chien, Wis.

Matthew 14:13-21 (NRSV)

13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.
14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.
15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves."
16 Jesus said to them, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat."
17 They replied, "We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish."
18 And he said, "Bring them here to me."
19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
20 And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.
21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

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