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Friday, August 10, 2018

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How often do we think we know someone's whole story? "Isn't that Amanda, who made all those mistakes in high school? How can she now pretend to be a responsible adult?" "Isn't that James, whose family is so dysfunctional? How can he achieve anything?"

Or how often do we think we know our own story? "Am I not me, who has let down everyone I loved? How can I be worthy of love and affection?" "Am I not me, who messes up more than anyone I know? How could Christ's love and mercy possibly be for me?"

These are the lies of sin. The truth is we don't know the whole story--not even our own. But Jesus does. Jesus knows the whole of who you are, not just the lies you tell yourself. Jesus knows that you were created by God. Jesus knows you are loved. And Jesus knows you are free to continue to write the story of your life in that love.

Lord, break into our world of judgment and set us free to love others and ourselves with reckless abandon. Amen.

Joe Natwick '15
Associate Pastor, St. John Lutheran Church, Dickinson, N.D.

John 6:35, 41-51 (NRSV)

35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. ...
41 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven."
42 They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, "I have come down from heaven'?"
43 Jesus answered them, "Do not complain among yourselves.
44 No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.
46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father.
47 Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life.
48 I am the bread of life.
49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

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