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Thursday, January 02, 2020

Next Day

Every Christmas Eve, my congregation gathers for worship at sunset. As many other churches do, we conclude the service with a candlelit singing of "Silent Night." It is breathtakingly beautiful, every time. But before those first candles are lit, the sanctuary is very dark. The only other time of the year we experience such darkness in worship is on Good Friday after we have extinguished all the candles. That God became flesh, was born a human, and lived among us also meant that God would face death. What is born must someday die. Yet Christ, who is the life and the light of all people, still shines in the darkness and will never be overcome by it.

As the short, dark days begin to lengthen again in the Northern Hemisphere, may you find light and life in communion with others. Long after the candles burn out, Christ abides with us still.

Enlightening God, you scatter the darkness with the flame not even death can snuff out. Today, help us to see the ways in which you bring life and immortality to light, and help us to witness faithfully to that light. Amen.

Drew Yackel, '14
Pastor, Urland Lutheran Church, Cannon Falls, Minn.

John 1:1-18 (NRSV)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being
4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.
8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.
9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.
11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.
12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God,
13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified to him and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, "He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.' ")
16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known.

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