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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Next Day

The first ten years of my ministry were spent in small town and open-country congregations. Having grown up in an Iowa town of only 250 people, rural ministry was not the foreign experience for me that it sometimes is for pastors with urban or suburban upbringings. One of the best times of the year in the country, is when the first shoots of corn and soybeans become visible in the fields. On my way to work on cool May mornings I would search for spring-green rows poking through the soil, rows best glimpsed out of the corner of the eye. As with Jesus' example of the fig tree, "as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near," so when I could "row" the fields a week or two after planting, my heart lifted with the promise of new life.

When we are paying attention, every day reveals a glimpse of God's presence here with us. May we catch it, if only out of the corner of the eye.

So many things clamor for our attention, Gracious God. Teach us to look for you in the situations and people we encounter today. Amen.

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

Mark 13:24-37 (NRSV)

24 "But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,
25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26 Then they will see "the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory.
27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
28 "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.
31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
32 "But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.
34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.
35 Therefore, keep awake--for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn,
36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.
37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake."

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