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Wednesday, March 07, 2018

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Yesterday, the psalmist reminded us of God's goodness
and steadfast love. In today's reading we hear one of
the most focused recitals of God's rich grace and mercy
in the whole of scriptures. In fact the writer essentially
says that "Rich in Mercy and Love" is God's other name
(4). Then come four key assertions about that mercy
and love. We were dead but now God has made us alive
together with Christ (5). We have been saved by grace
through faith (5, 8). This salvation does not depend on
us; it is a gift from God (8). And, finally, we are God's
poetry--a better capture of the original Greek than
"workmanship"--in which God's creative hand is at work
in writing the good works that now can mark our life
stories (10).
On this, our Lenten journey, we need not travel blindly
or without a sense of the ending. In the cross and
resurrection, in rich mercy and love, God has already
prepared for us a finish line that is already transforming
each step along the way.

God of mercy and love, make us ever thankful that by your grace you have brought us from death to life, and that our lives are now bound together with our risen Lord Jesus Christ. Continue to create in us the good works that are the signs of your salvation. Amen.

James L. Boyce, '72
Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek,
Luther Seminary

Ephesians 2:1-10 (NRSV)

1 You were dead through the trespasses and sins
2 in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient.
3 All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us
5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ --by grace you have been saved--
6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God--
9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

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