Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Centuries before Jesus began his last week on earth, the psalmist foresaw what Jesus would be experiencing in these days: "For my enemies speak concerning me, and those who watch for my life consult together. They say, 'Pursue and seize that person ...'" (Psalm 71:10-11). In chapters 21-26, Matthew tells how the authorities challenge and dispute with Jesus during the days after Palm Sunday.

During this time, Jesus remains steadfast. He knows he will be killed, but he urges the people not to succumb to the darkness: "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you" (John 12:35). On Friday, that light will be extinguished as darkness envelops the world, but on Sunday the light will shine again even more brightly, so that we today can live in its brightness.

Lord Jesus, we thank you that you are the light that guides our lives, that shines through our hardships and leads us into everlasting life. Amen.

Michael Rogness
Professor Emeritus of Preaching

Psalm 71:1-14 (NRSV)

1 In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.
2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me.
3 Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
5 For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
6 Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you.
7 I have been like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all day long.
9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength is spent.
10 For my enemies speak concerning me, and those who watch for my life consult together.
11 They say, "Pursue and seize that person whom God has forsaken, for there is no one to deliver."
12 O God, do not be far from me; O my God, make haste to help me!
13 Let my accusers be put to shame and consumed; let those who seek to hurt me be covered with scorn and disgrace.
14 But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more.

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