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 Pr. Heidi Johns

The Blessing is the last hymn I want to use in this week’s devotional.  This hymn is based on the words Aaron, Moses’ brother, used to pronounce blessing on the people of Israel.  They may sound very familiar to us because we use these words as our benediction at the end of our worship service.

The Lord bless you and keep you;
 the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace
.  (Numbers 6:24-26) 

According to the dictionary, a benediction is a short invocation for divine help, blessing and guidance.  The Latin prefix “bene” means good or well as in benefit or benefactor.  The word diction means the pronouncement of words.  Thus, a benediction or a blessing is pronounced at the end of the worship.  However, benedictions and blessings were never just limited to use in worship.  In the New Testament, Jesus pronounced blessings on people as did the authors of the many letters in the New Testament.  In the Pauline letters, he often opens and closes his letters asking for blessings/benedictions to be upon his readers. 

But here is why a benediction/blessing is important to our lives.  A benedictions give us God-sized expectations for our future.  They help us focus on the gracious future that God wants for us.  Benedictions also help us set our minds on God’s mind and God’s grace.  You might say they direct our hearts to God’s heart so we can be rooted in it.  

Finally, a benediction does not conclude something it helps transition to something else.  When a New Testament author gives a benediction at the end of letter, he gathers up the ideas of the letter, and reframes them as an expected blessing. They are like bridges, so they carry God’s hope, peace, encouragement into everyday life.  The beauty of a benediction is that it invites us to hold out our hands in faith and receive God’s blessing, so we can take God’s promises and peace with us, no matter where we go. 

Please listen to The Blessing performed by some of the musicians of Good Shepherd and receive God’s blessing on your life reemembering God is for us!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIOvITshjmo&list=PLd-DolKcKwdu2Yq0CaVlEdfkLVcOcLBEP&index=55

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