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Friday, July 13, 2018

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Jesus' name had become known. How important this was for the work of John the Baptist. His job was to prepare the way for Jesus, the savior, and it cost him his life. While in prison, John the Baptist saw the opportunity to speak prophetically to the king. He didn't hold back on criticizing Herod's decisions that were against God's desire. The consequences of saying something that would offend Herod was death. But speaking the truth is not what killed John--at least, it's not what offended Herod. Speaking the truth is hard when we know that the truth won't easily be received. In the church we have to trust that speaking the truth to our sisters and brothers in Christ is essential for our communities to move forward. Where has God called you to speak truth in uncomfortable situations?

Gracious God, lead us to be a voice for the oppressed and advocates for truth. Give us courage to confront situations that lead to anxiety or discomfort. Amen.

John Klawiter, '12
Pastor, Faith Lutheran Church, Forest Lake, Minn.

Mark 6:14-29 (NRSV)

14 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus' name had become known. Some were saying, "John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him."
15 But others said, "It is Elijah." And others said, "It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old."
16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, "John, whom I beheaded, has been raised."
17 For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because Herod had married her.
18 For John had been telling Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
19 And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not,
20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him.
21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee.
22 When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it."
23 And he solemnly swore to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom."
24 She went out and said to her mother, "What should I ask for?" She replied, "The head of John the baptizer."
25 Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter."
26 The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her.
27 Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison,
28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother.
29 When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

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