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Thursday, July 12, 2018

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Jesus name had become known. How threatening this is! For King Herod, the name of Jesus leads him to behead John, although not by his choice. It's starting to sink in to Herod--the choices he makes have consequences. His wife does not like the fact that her husband is listening to this political prisoner and waits for an opportunity. Eventually, Herod makes the worst choice of all after his daughter performs at a party and promises her whatever she wishes. His wife seizes the misstep and tells her daughter what to do. Bad decisions can bring about horrible consequences. Life is so fragile, yet in this made for HBO scene, life can so carelessly be thrown away. Power can blind relationship with God. But power can also be used for change. How do you use your power to help others?

God of love, make us instruments of change in this broken world. Help us to speak truth to power even when there are undesirable consequences. Amen.

John Klawiter, '12
Pastor, Faith Lutheran Church, Forest Lake, Minn.

Mark 6:14-29 (NRSV)

14 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus' name had become known. Some were saying, "John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him."
15 But others said, "It is Elijah." And others said, "It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old."
16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, "John, whom I beheaded, has been raised."
17 For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because Herod had married her.
18 For John had been telling Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
19 And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not,
20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him.
21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee.
22 When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it."
23 And he solemnly swore to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom."
24 She went out and said to her mother, "What should I ask for?" She replied, "The head of John the baptizer."
25 Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter."
26 The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her.
27 Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison,
28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother.
29 When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

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