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Thursday, January 23, 2014

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When my son Andrew was a little boy he asked a neighbor, "How come you don't go to church?" She shrugged her shoulders; then he closed the door part way and put his hand over his mouth so I wouldn't hear, "I think you are real lucky that you don't go. All you do is get dressed up, just to sit there!" And with that wonderful invitation to church our neighbor was standing by our van to go with us to church the next Sunday morning. Many weeks later on the way home from church Andrew said to our neighbor, "Can you see Jesus?" She shrugged her shoulders again. He said to her, "I can see him. I can hear him. I can feel him in my heart." Then he called her by name, and went on, "Even if you can't see him, Jesus sees you and he loves you."

Thank you Lord Jesus that you use our most ordinary words to tell the story of your love. Amen.

Elisa Schafer Richardson
Pastor, Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Mounds View, Minn.
Master of Divinity , 1983

Matthew 4:12-23 (NRSV)

12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee.
13 He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali,
14 so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
15 "Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles--
16 the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned."
17 From that time Jesus began to proclaim, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."
18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen.
19 And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people."
20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
21 As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them.
22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.

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