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Students sitting outside Bockman
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Next Day

I grew up along the Atlantic seaboard. Vacations as a kid often included trips to the beach. Anyone who has swum in those waters has learned the language of undertow and rip tides. I don't know if my memory is of one or many incidents, but I can still feel the scrape of the sand on my back, taste the salt water coughing through my nose, and feel the sense of rising panic as I tried to find my way back to the surface.

The water imagery in today's psalm evokes those memories. As I was preparing for seminary, and studying the Bible with others in my home congregation, one person said to me, "You're swimming in some deep waters, there." And I replied, joking, "More like being pulled under!"

Sometimes God does that. Pulls us under, and we fear we are drowning, as God's Word forms us, shapes us and challenges us to grow. Then, we find ourselves thrown back onto the shores of the world, perhaps a little raw, but filled with fresh air and new life, reborn from the waters.

God of the waves, you brought us forth from the waters, and you call us back to them. Help us to live into the daily death and rebirth that you give us through our baptisms, so that each day, a new self emerges to serve you and your kingdom. Amen.

Aimee Appell
Peace Lutheran Church, Washington, Mo.
Master of Divinity , 2010

Psalm 93 (NRSV)

1 The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength. He has established the world; it shall never be moved;

2 your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.

3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring.

4 More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters, more majestic than the waves of the sea, majestic on high is the Lord!

5 Your decrees are very sure; holiness befits your house, O Lord, forevermore.

This week's devotions are offered by a Luther Seminary alumnus from the graduating class of 2012.