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Friday, November 03, 2017

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Celebrate is a joy filled word which suggests triumph or success. For that reason, we hesitated calling our Reformation Sunday events a celebration. Although God ultimately used the events of 500 years ago to build up the church, we also know that for the Catholic church those events brought a time of mourning or loss. What was once unified had been severed. Even though we believe that errors were righted, for many the Reformation was still pain-filled. So instead of "celebrating," we choose to "commemorate" the Reformation. We observe it, remember the stories, honor the work and acknowledge the grief.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." In dialogue with our Catholic brothers and sisters we share in the work of comfort for what was fractured. We see again the work of God's Spirit in bringing together the saints who are in Christ. If God's Spirit can even repair, re-form and comfort God's broken church, is there anything God cannot do?

God of unity, walls are easy to build and hard to tear down. Forgive my judgments on others, soften my heart to do your work of reconciling and train my eyes to notice the saints where I may not expect them to be. Amen.

Amanda Kempthorne, '09
Pastor, Lord of Life Lutheran Church, North Pole, Alaska

Matthew 5:1-12 (NRSV)

1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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