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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

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Power. That's what we like about God. No one--no other force in the universe--has the power that God has. So when we think about God as our protector and our champion, we feel powerful too. It's like celebrating when our favorite team wins. We feel like we're winners too, even though we had no role in the contest.

God truly is our protector, our champion. But sometimes, God has to protect us from ourselves. We make enemies of those whom God loves; we place our trust in that which is not God; we fail to be good stewards of what God has created.

Psalm 29 is an "Enthronement Psalm" proclaiming this powerful God as ruler of the universe and calling us to give glory to God. The full story, however, is that God's throne turns out to be a cross. God's power is displayed in weakness; God's glory is proclaimed in shame; God's love is sealed by God's death. On the cross God's peace comes to assure us that whatever life hands us, God's love will never leave us. That is true peace indeed.

Mighty God, powerful Lord, we fall before you in awe, wonder – and fear – of your limitless power. Jesus has shown us that you always use power for our good. Help us to trust that you know what you're doing, because you are our Lord, our lover, our life-long companion. Amen.

J. David Whelan, '95
Pastor of Visitation and Care, Central Lutheran Church, Chippewa Falls, Wis.

Psalm 29 (NRSV)

1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, "Glory!"
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!

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