Daily Devotions
 

We are thrilled to once again be sharing a daily devotion with you for the season of Advent. These inspiring devotions have been written by YOU the members of Good Shepherd.  A sincere “thank you” to everyone who opened their hearts to share a small piece of their faith journey with us.   As we journey toward Bethlehem in this season, take time each day to walk with God and experience the stirrings of the deep love that took on flesh to walk with us.  

During the four week Advent season, each Wednesday our devotion will be a video reflection by Dr. Kevin Seal, Director of Worship and Music at Good Shepherd, as he shares a teaching about the Words and Music of Advent.

Each new day’s devotion will go live directly on our webpage, goodshepherd.com at 6am, (look under the worship tab at the top right of the front page) or you can follow the link that will be sent out later each morning in an email from Good Shepherd.  


Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion by Dianne Gebhardt-French

When baby Jesus turns up missing, we take it in stride. 

At first notice, it sets off a series of treasured tales embellished by time. 

We laugh about a young neighbor’s frustration with having to remove baby Jesus from the manger every time she ran through our house with our daughter before Christmas. Each time, she explained why, with the confidence of a Catholic catechism student.

Adults are often more subtle, moving the small figurine when they think no one is looking. Occasionally, a friend will tell us of the obvious error of placing the baby in the manger before December 25. 

We just don’t see it that way. 

The manger scene with its 21st century electric candle burning bright is not a historically accurate depiction. It’s a celebration of God in the form of an innocent newborn delivering the salvation we are promised. We can debate the ancient calendar and the mistakes introduced into the telling of the nativity story by flawed human authors. We can even argue time zones. But, instead, we set all that aside and focus on the celebration. 

As soon as Thanksgiving is enjoyed, we look forward to Christmas. Garlands are wrapped along the staircase rail. Wreaths are placed on the front door and porch lights. We even hang Christmas lights on the back deck. But, there is only one place at our house for the rough-hewn stable and the Holy Family -- the wrought iron table crafted by my children’s great grandpa located in the center of the front hall. We carefully unwrap each hand-painted piece marked with the year we added it to our collection. 

It is the greatest joy of advent to anticipate the birth of baby Jesus.  

It’s wonderful to see the simple setup reflect the meaning of the nativity to friends (and why some are so strongly compelled to move the baby).  

The creche is a symbol of the faith of our family and a way to talk about baby Jesus to our grandchildren as their tiny hands move Wise Men and the shepherd boy just so. The collection has grown over the years, such that each of our children have a set with lambs and a camel or two for their homes.  

Nearby, a primitive white clay manger scene graces the piano. More than 40 years ago, my then-young cousin Dean walked through the markets of Tijuana with me. In his flawless Spanish, he got the price down to just five American dollars for what is now treasured pottery with simple blue brush strokes capturing faces and clothing. This creche offers the same message.  

As the gospel of Luke recounts Simeon’s words when he saw the baby Jesus:

Then took Simeon took him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. (Luke 2:28-32)

When baby Jesus turns up missing at our place?

He’s safe. We always find him in the same place, tucked behind the stable wall.  Even with different culprits, the blessed baby is there for all of us on Christmas morning.

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