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Friday, July 06, 2018

Next Day

"Jesus shifts course, instantly. He goes out amongst the villages. He teaches. And, he trains and empowers others to do these miracles themselves." So reads a line from yesterday's devotion.

Raise your hand if you like having someone else do the hard work for you (*raises hand sheepishly*). Keep 'em raised--you just volunteered to be Jesus' new miracle workers. Go out in faith. Enter people's hearts and lives. Take nothing with you to protect your hearts from them, but walk with them, give to them, learn and be loved and receive from them. In doing so, you will cast out demons, you will anoint the sick and you will cure hearts.

Jesus has sidestepped. He has passed the ball to YOU. And the training and empowering is clear: Forgive the sinners. Release the captives. And let the oppressed go free.

Oh, God, worker of miracles: Empower me. Enfold me. Embrace me. Then send me. 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.