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Friday, May 11, 2018

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My small condo reeked with the unseen evil one's presence. Danger seemed to linger in the wings. I prayed almost continuously. I read the Occasional Services blessings for every living area. I filled the bathtub to my chin with hot water to fight the debilitating cold. I called my pastor. I took communion. Finally, I gathered the fourteen crosses I owned and distributed them around the condo. The figurative stench remained. I sought strength not to give in to a demand for my life as the days crawled by. Now in today's reading, for the first time we learn that Jesus was actively protecting his disciples from the evil one. What did he do? How did he do it? I believe that the power over the devil that Jesus died for is my inheritance, my power now. I learned the hard way that I should rather have taken control with these words, "Go away; I belong to Jesus." "No! I am God's child, baptized in Jesus' name," and the evil one, overpowered by Jesus during those three days, must now also scuttle away, no longer able to tolerate the name of Jesus.

Lord, thank you for asking your father to continue to protect me. He sent the Holy Spirit in your place to be with the disciples and now with me, to guide and protect me as I try to confound evil tempting me away from you. Help me listen wisely and act accordingly. Amen.

Kristin D. Anderson, '88
Retired Pastor, Roseville, Minn.

John 17:6-19 (NRSV)

6 "I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.
7 Now they know that everything you have given me is from you;
8 for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.
9 I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours.
10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.
11 And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.
12 While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.
14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.
15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.
16 They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.
17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
18 As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

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