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Students sitting outside Bockman
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Wednesday, August 01, 2018

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In April, my congregation attended a hip-hop worship led by Agape and Joe Davis. One of the songs asked, "Are you a real Lutheran?" This song was born from an experience of someone being questioned about their "real" Lutheran identity because of the color of their skin. It led to a great discussion with our middle-school youth. What makes you a Lutheran? We don't need to be a certain color or culture to be Lutheran--or Christian, for that matter. We only need to know and trust that we are saved by God's grace. As the Christian church we all share "one Lord, one faith, one baptism," but that doesn't mean we all have to be the same. We are all uniquely created by God. We all have different gifts and callings. True unity comes in our connection through the Holy Spirit and in our common call to bear with one another in love.

Creator God, forgive us for the times we have judged others because of their differences. Let your Holy Spirit draw us together in humility, gentleness, patience and love. Amen.

Jamie Brieske '14
Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Eau Claire, Wisc.

Ephesians 4:1-16 (NRSV)

1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling,
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
7 But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ's gift.
8 Therefore it is said, "When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people."
9 (When it says, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.)
11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,
12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.
14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.
15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body's growth in building itself up in love.

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