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Thursday, July 05, 2018

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The stilling of a storm (Mark 4). The freeing of the Gerasene demoniac (Mark 5). Two thousand demons sent into a herd of swine (Mark 5). A girl restored to life and a hemorrhaging woman healed with barely a whispering touch (Mark 5). These are the events that immediately precede today's story. And yet none of these miracles are able to happen in Jesus' hometown.

It is unclear exactly why Jesus is unable to work his power, but what I find interesting is his response. Instead of throwing up his hands and saying, "A pox on all your houses!" Jesus shifts course instantly. He goes out amongst the villages. He teaches. He trains and empowers others to do these miracles themselves. Jesus does not stop in the face of adversity; he sidesteps, passes the ball and keeps on moving. Where might you be needing to sidestep in your own life?

Lord, ease my unbelief, and empower me with the faith to be your miracle worker. Amen.

Rachel Wrenn, '11
PhD student in Hebrew Bible at Emory University, Marietta, GA

Mark 6:1-13 (NRSV)

1 He went away from there and came to his own country; and his disciples followed him.
2 And on the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands!
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
4 And Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house."
5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands upon a few sick people and healed them.
6 And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.
7 And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts;
9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.
10 And he said to them, "Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place.
11 And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them."
12 So they went out and preached that men should repent.
13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.

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