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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Next Day

This gospel reading is the one on which I preached when I interviewed with my congregations six years ago. When people asked what the text for my sermon would be, I told them it was based on a rather ordinary post-resurrection appearance of Jesus--nothing as well-known or exciting as a doubting Thomas, a breakfast on the beach or a walk to Emmaus with surprised disciples.

But then I had to look again and remind myself that Jesus himself was standing here in the room with the disciples! Jesus, who had been crucified. Jesus, who had most certainly died and been buried. Jesus, who should not have been alive--there Jesus was, talking to them!

"Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." The presence of the living God is never ordinary, even when it is not especially dramatic. Today, let's be on the lookout for the wonder of Jesus standing among us, bringing us peace, even in the most ordinary ways.

God of peace, you are present always with your people. Open our hearts to the miracle of your presence, that we may receive and rejoice in that peace which only you can give; through Jesus Christ, our resurrected Lord. Amen.

Amanda Jertson Talley, '12
Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Churches, Hartington and Crofton, Neb.

Luke 24:36-48 (NRSV)

36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
38 He said to them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."
40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
43 and he took it and ate in their presence.
44 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you--that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled."
45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,
46 and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,
47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48 You are witnesses of these things.

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