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Friday, November 15, 2019

Next Day

This is a really difficult reading. If we read only up through verse 17 -- all the warnings of wars and natural disasters and persecution, and then Jesus' words: "You will be hated by all because of my name" -- I am not sure where we would find the good news. Sadly, many people in our world are experiencing these harsh realities as part of their daily lives.

But we don't stop reading at this verse. Jesus doesn't leave things at the point of death and destruction. We are meant to hear and trust that there is more. We are not alone. By God's power, life will triumph over death; good will win out over evil. Part of how that happens is that we are called to help and comfort others in their struggles, and to let them know that they are not alone either. We are called to be the body of Christ in the world. Let us go out and be that body together.

Healing Lord and Savior, give us the courage to be your hands and feet in our community and world. Amen.

Erin Martinson, '00
Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, Ventura, Calif.

Luke 21:5-19 (NRSV)

5 When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, [Jesus] said,
6 "As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down."
7 They asked him, "Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?"
8 And he said, "Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, 'I am he!' and, 'The time is near!' Do not go after them.
9 When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately."
10 Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom;
11 there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
12 But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name.
13 This will give you an opportunity to testify.
14 So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance;
15 for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.
16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.
17 You will be hated by all because of my name.
18 But not a hair of your head will perish.
19 By your endurance you will gain your souls."

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