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Students sitting outside Bockman
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Saturday, January 11, 2020

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Refrain
Wade in the water,
wade in the water, children,
wade in the water,
God's a-goin'-a trouble the water.

1 (See that host all dressed in white,)
God's a-goin'-a trouble the water.
(the leader looks like the Israelite.)
God's a-goin'-a trouble the water.  Refrain

2 (See that band all dressed in red,)
God's a-goin'-a trouble the water.
(looks like the band that Moses led.)
God's a-goin'-a trouble the water.  Refrain


3 (Look over yonder, what do I see?)
God's a-goin'-a trouble the water.
(the Holy Ghost a-coming on me.)
God's a-goin'-a trouble the water.  Refrain

4 (If you don't believe I've been redeemed,)
God's a-goin'-a trouble the water.
(just follow me down to Jordan's stream.)
God's a-goin'-a trouble the water.  Refrain

Text: African American spiritual


"Through the waters of the flood you delivered Noah and his family, and through the sea you led your people Israel from slavery into freedom." (Service of Holy Baptism, ELW, p. 230)

Martin Luther's "Flood Prayer," quoted above, directly connects the liberating work of God in the exodus story with the freedom and forgiveness promised in baptism. The powerful spiritual "Wade in the Water" does the same, further linking these promises to the struggle of Black Americans for freedom and justice. Each work -- prayer and song -- is a reminder that God's liberating acts are for soul and body, for individuals and whole peoples. God's concern for liberating all people from sin and death includes the ways sin and death bind communities here and now -- through oppression, poverty, and violence.

The identity and calling we receive in baptism do not place us above or beyond the suffering of God's people. They place us with Jesus, in their midst.

Liberating God, trouble the waters of our souls and move us with healing compassion for our neighbors. Give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hands to tend the suffering of others. Amen.

Andy Nelson, '09
Chaplain, Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa


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