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Monday, September 10, 2018

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The poet Isaiah tells it straight. He has the tongue of a teacher, speaking truth in a world gone mad with nonsense. In his day everything solid was melting. God inspired his words to interrupt the weary with hope. His vocation was to teach about the soul force of God. To do so he confronts the brute force caused by his nation's disunity and warring factions. He teaches through the ubiquitous steadfast love (hesed) of God.

The older I get, the more I incline my ear to this poet-prophet, because he provides courage to square off with religious and social systems fearful of practicing the radical hospitality of God's justice with the power of mercy for the whole people of God. I am inspired by Isaiah and pray with teachers like Howard Thurman (God bless his memory) who teach that the heart of faith is the ministry with those "whose backs are against the wall." The church reads Isaiah and remembers God sets his face like flint seeking to provide salve necessary for a troubled time.

God, we thank you for the gift of teachers who mentor and voice the faith in the spiritual delicacy of placing faith into the public life of discipleship. We pray for courage like flint. Amen.

David Rommereim, '81
Inter-faith Clergy Coalition, Whitefish, Mont.

Isaiah 50:4-9a (NRSV)

4 The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens-- wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.
5 The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.
6 I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
7 The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.
9 It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty?

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