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Thursday, September 13, 2018

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These words from Mark 8 turn my thoughts to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His phrase "the cost of discipleship" becomes a gift from Jesus, who taught Dietrich how to resist evil with good.

The word "faith" means we are God-wrestlers. Our questions often come from Jesus, who asks, "Who do you say that I am?" We've been asking that since baptism, wrestling with the truth of what God is doing and how Christ infiltrates our living. We seek to believe and be diligent about spiritual insight. Mark 8:27-38 presents a pivot point on Jesus' walk of faith--one with a cost. It affects our faith and how we walk with Jesus.

Bonhoeffer taught during the tumultuous epoch of Nazi Germany. His faith led him to say, "The only way to overcome evil is to let it run itself to a standstill, because it does not find the resistance it is looking for. Resistance merely creates further evil and adds fuel to the flames." Such is a commitment with a cost.

We thank you, God, for this gift of scripture, where we may read and stand as if before a mirror, locating our frailties together with a passion for following the God of peace. Amen.

David Rommereim, '81
Inter-faith Clergy Coalition, Whitefish, Mont.

Mark 8:27-38 (NRSV)

27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?"
28 And they answered him, "John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets."
29 He asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Messiah."
30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."
34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.
36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?
37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?
38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

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