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Thursday, November 29, 2018

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"Redemption Is Drawing Near"

Stand up! Raise your head! "Redemption is drawing near." Look and live with boldness. We hear these words during Advent even as we struggle to wait for the Lord. They offer encouragement and hope. The kingdom of God is near! God's reign, God's activity is right here in our midst! How will I be faithful in these new circumstances thrust upon me? How will I stand up, raise my head, to prepare for the coming of the Lord?

We celebrate God's rule of grace and mercy. The celebration means that we actively participate in both sharing and receiving these gifts. We live not as idle onlookers or even as screaming onlookers at a ball game or a political rally. Rather, we join in proclaiming the good news -- the promise and the hope that "redemption is drawing near." We not only await this coming, but we actively participate in its coming. Yes, redemption is drawing near. So, how will I take part in this adventure?

Redeeming God, for the gift of new life and hope this Advent season I am most thankful. May I not simply sit on the sidelines, but live as an active agent in your promised redemption. In the name of Jesus, our Rock and Redeemer. Amen.

Paul A. Herpich, '08
Retired, Liverpool, N.Y.

Luke 21:25-36 (NRSV)

25 "There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
26 People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
27 Then they will see "the Son of Man coming in a cloud' with power and great glory.
28 Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
29 Then he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees;
30 as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near.
31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place.
33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
34 "Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly,
35 like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.
36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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