Students sitting outside Bockman
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Monday, December 04, 2017

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God's first words to the newly-freed nation of Israel are those of comfort. "I will take care of you in your freedom," God says. Even today, as free as we are in America, we rarely heed God's call. We try to build up so much in our search for eternity: our fortunes, our houses, our legacies. And yet God reminds us that all people are grass. All people are flowers. Our kingdoms will wither and fade. And yet God, the One who sees us, the One who saw all those who came before us and the One who will see all those who come after us, stoops down to inspect us like a gentle gardener inspecting tender plants, grasses and tiny blossoms. The gardener wants to comfort us, for we are not too tiny or ephemeral for God.

Lord, thank you for your holy comfort. Your word stands forever. Help us grow peacefully in your beautiful garden. Amen.

Amy E. Marga
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.

Isaiah 40:1-11 (NRSV)

1 Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.
3 A voice cries out: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
6 A voice says, "Cry out!" And I said, "What shall I cry?" All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.
9 Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!"
10 See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.


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