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Monday, April 01, 2013

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According to a modern parable, God and the devil were playing poker. At stake was the very soul of God's beloved son, Jesus Christ. As the devil picked up his cards, a wicked smile spread across his face. In his hand was a royal flush, the highest possible poker combination. "He's mine!" cried the devil as he laid down his cards. "I win!"

"Not so fast," replied the Almighty. God then proceeded to lay down his cards, one by one. Five aces, each in a different suit.

"But that's impossible!" screamed the devil. "Apparently not!" said God with a wink.

Great and Gracious God, you give life to the dead and call into existence things that do not exist. Forgive us for judging what is or is not possible with you. Open us to your joyful surprise. Give us delight in being “fools for Christ,” in April, and throughout the year. Amen.

Grant Aaseng
Shalom Lutheran Church, Alexandria, Minn.

Acts 2:14, 22b-32 (NRSV)

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.

22 "Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.

23 "This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

24 "But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

25 "David said about him: 'I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

26 "'Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope,

27 "'because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

28 "'You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.'

29 "Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day.

30 "But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.

31 "Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay.

32 "God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact."

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