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Students sitting outside Bockman
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

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We have a Sunday School Advent Program in our congregation, which ends with the the Christmas story on Christmas Eve. One year the program featured the Prayers of the Day for each of the Sundays of Advent. They all begin with the words, "Stir up," from verse 2b of Psalm 80: "Stir up your might, and come to save us."
As the program began I noticed Angie, age seven, sitting at the end of a pew with a big serving spoon in her hands. I caught her eye. She giggled. It turned out that there were four children with big spoons scattered through the crowd to announce each section of the program by standing on the pew, brandishing the spoon over their heads and shouting the first line of one of the prayers: "Stir up your power...Stir up our hearts...Stir up the wills...Stir up your power."
The honesty of the first week of Advent continues. We cannot save ourselves. God's power saves. "Stir up your might, and come to save us."

Stir up our hearts, gracious God, that we may be signs of your love in this weary world. Amen.

Rachel Mithelman, '83
St Johns Lutheran Church,Des Moines, Iowa

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 (NRSV)

1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!
3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
4 O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people's prayers?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6 You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.
7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved...
17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.
18 Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.
19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

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