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Friday, September 14, 2018

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The word "believe" refers to what we give our heart to. As we noted yesterday, the drama of Mark 8:27-38 alludes to "the cost of discipleship" as a means to practice belief. It becomes a pivot point for the Christian gospel. Mark's words keep shining forth and polishing the stars of Jesus' gospel with a confidence that even in fear and trembling, we are sustained by God's abiding presence of hope.

Jesus teaches his learners what it means to live out the gospel as we walk the talk in our community. "The cost of discipleship" is a phrase that asks every baptized person to evaluate their convictions and then align them to the journey of faith Jesus walks. In this teaching he leads disciples to the center of the gospel. As a paradigmatic poet, he ushers in the faith formula that saving your life happens once you have a full sense of your calling--and then give it away. Such a gospel remains the pivot point of the Good News.

Lead me, Lord. Guide me, along the way. Let me see the good that I can do, and do it. Keep me mindful of the stakes of the matter as I practice believing according to your way. Amen.

David Rommereim, '81
Inter-faith Clergy Coalition, Whitefish, Mont.

Mark 8:27-38 (NRSV)

27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?"
28 And they answered him, "John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets."
29 He asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Messiah."
30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."
34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.
36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?
37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?
38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."


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