Students sitting outside Bockman
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Friday, September 08, 2017

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Jesus did not say, "Power off your smartphones and computers. Go talk with your neighbors!" However, his living words inform our unrelenting social media communication that replaces face-to-face interactions. My mediation instructor said most of her work resulted from emails that should have been face-to-face conversations. Direct communication can prevent escalating discord.

What are other benefits of face-to-face communication? Personal conversations help grow relationships. We can be heard and hear. We might even develop insights about our neighbors' actions!

Erroneously, we sometimes reprove actions as sinful when they are simply different approaches or priorities. God calls some church members to love their neighbors by providing emergency relief while some advocate with legislators. Some members serve neighbors faraway while some serve neighbors nearby. God calls people to fund projects and people to do projects. God calls everyone to pray and actively communicate love with our neighbors. What are your loving communications?

Calling God, we praise you that you often meet our needs through each other. Forgive us when we bicker rather than love our neighbors. Today, International Literacy Day, inspire our communication to include advocacy for education for all people. Remind us of the power of loving words spoken directly. Amen.

Mary Simonson Clark, '07
Adjunct and Field Instructor, Augsburg University/
Partner Engagement, Redeemer Lutheran Church and Center for Life
Minneapolis, Minn.

Matthew 18: 15-20 (NRSV)

15 "If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.
16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
17 If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."


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