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Friday, January 03, 2020

Next Day

Several years ago, my mother-in-law expressed to me the emotional roller coaster she feels during the holiday season. "It's such a wonderful build-up to Christmas Day, all the preparations and excitement. Then it comes and it's over so fast. It can feel sad and empty on the 26th." Drawing on my knowledge of the liturgical calendar, I said cheerfully, "But it's not over! We get twelve full days of Christmas!" Each year since, she has found joy in reminding all of us in the family exactly which day of Christmas it is when we are together, even changing the "Days Until Christmas" sign to "Days OF Christmas."

Today, on this tenth day of Christmas, John reminds us that the core of our Christmas joy is the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. God coming to us in Christ is not "one-and-done." Neither is it confined to twelve days. It is Christ's abiding presence that began even before time and is still with us today.

Abiding God, we give thanks for the lasting joy found in relationship with you. Today, help us see and appreciate how you take on human flesh in our lives through family, friends, neighbors, faith communities, and even strangers, so we may be assured you still dwell with us. 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.