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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

In today's world of industrial-scale farming, few people other than gardeners truly grasp the wonder of a seed--a simple kernel; then a tender sprout curling out of the earth; and finally, rich, full leaves, stems, maybe someday a trunk, reaching for the sun.

Attempting to help the Christians in Corinth understand the resurrection of the body, the apostle Paul draws on his listeners' intimate knowledge of this basic process. He contrasts the seed that is sown--the perishable physical body, dishonored and weak--with the new life that blooms from it--the imperishable spiritual body brought forth in glory and power. By God's hand, the perishable is made imperishable.

God's commitment to life, however, is reflected even beyond the miracle of resurrection. We see it in every act of healing, every wrong made right. Through God's all-encompassing love, the depths of despair are filled with the bounty of hope.

O Lord Jesus, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is despair, may we lavish hope. Amen.

Beth Ann Gaede, '06
Senior Acquisitions Editor, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, Minn.

1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50 (NRSV)

35 But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?"
36 Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
37 And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.
38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. ...
42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.
43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
44 It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.
45 Thus it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46 But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual.
47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
48 As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven.
49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.
50 What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

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