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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

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What does it mean to become "all things to all people?" I think at times we have taken it to mean that in our proclamation of the gospel we must morph the meaning to fit the audience. Certainly, if taken to the extreme, this can become a dangerous enterprise in a world that often seems to be getting worse rather than better. However, this is not Paul's intent.

Instead, the gospel remains the same for all time; Christ crucified for us, for all, for free. That is the gospel. The good news is offered without a membership fee or a price tag. It is available to any and all persons regardless of race, sex, gender, language or any other distinguishable feature. The words we use to proclaim this may morph depending on the audience to which we are speaking, but Jesus was, is and always will be the gospel. Jesus is all things to all people. We are merely his voice as we seek to remain faithful to the message.

Holy God, use us. Make us into instruments of your one true gospel. Speak through our voices to the nations that all may know you and be blessed through you. Amen.

Katie Emery, '12
Pastor, Hope American Lutheran Church, Fallon, Mont. and Community Presbyterian Church, Terry, Mont.

1 Corinthians 9:16-23 (NRSV)

16 If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel!
17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission.
18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel.
19 For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them.
20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law.
21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law) so that I might win those outside the law.
22 To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some.
23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.

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