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Monday, April 28, 2014

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"Three thousand persons were added." That's amazing! We usually have one or two baptisms at a time. But I also work with the Local Mission Partner ministries in the St. Paul Area Synod. In one of our partner ministries, Minnesota Faith Chinese Lutheran Church in Roseville, Minn., in one year we have seen more adult baptisms than in the whole St. Paul Area Synod put together. Many of these baptisms are of first generation Christians who rejoice in the message of this invitation in Acts: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ ..." As we engage in God's mission, let us be sure to engage those who are new to our community. We may not see "three thousand persons added" in a day, but we will see the results of the gospel preached in new and thrilling ways for the church of today.

God of the nations, thank you for the new life you are giving our church through our partnership with the growing ethnic congregations in our midst. Help us to engage in your mission in our neighborhoods. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Vern Rice
Mounds View, Minn.
Master of Divinity , 1964

Acts 2:14, 36-41 (NRSV)

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them,
36 Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified."
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?"
38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him."
40 And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."
41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.

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