Daily Devotions
 

Hello Good Shepherd!

During these summer months our Daily Devotions will continue with Good Shepherd’s Pastors along with Jen Jarman and Matthew Petersen each taking turns writing them week by week.  The topics and themes will be as varied as the Staff members themselves!  We hope you will check us out each day as you continue your daily Vine Time with God.  Open yourself to what God is saying to you through this writing, and pray that the Spirit will bring forth fruit from your life for the sake of the world. 

Also, as a way to encourage each other, use the comment box at the end of each day’s devotion to leave a thought, a prayer or a reflection of your own.  

Pastor Heidi Johns

Event date: 5/25/2020 Export event
Pastor Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion

As a lifelong Lutheran and a Pastor for nearly 30 years now, I have received Holy Communion in many different contexts.  Mostly, it’s been on Sundays at the various churches where I have been a member or served as Pastor.  But, there have been other contexts as well; church assemblies and conferences, college and seminary chapels, retreats, hospital bedsides, homes of shut-ins, the dining room table at the Edge House, weddings and funerals.

On Pentecost, May 31st this year, I will receive Holy Communion in a new context, my own dining room table.  I will not be alone, because all of you will be invited find your place at God’s big table from your home as well.  Together, we will have this shared experience of joining in worship at 10am through the worship bulletin at Good Shepherd’s website.  You will receive the link via email like every week, except the link won’t come on Saturday, it will arrive at about 9:45 on Sunday so you can join as close to 10am possible.  We will be joining our Traditional and Contemporary services into one beautiful worship service that will include the communion liturgy and the sharing of communion, led via video by one of the Pastors. 

To be honest, this is not ideal.  As Lutheran’s we like “good order,” which says that Holy Communion is usually celebrated with a gathered assembly with an ordained clergy person presiding.  I agree.  But, what about when the gathered assembly can’t physically be together for the sake of safety, especially the safety of the most vulnerable?  What if, out of love for our neighbor, the most faithful thing to do is to not be together in the same building?  What happens to “good order,” then?

Here is how I have been thinking about it.  I have been thinking about how God is revealed to us in Scripture and through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  Through these means we learn of a God who is…

creator and sustainer

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love

forgiving, gracious, inviting, welcoming

healer, teacher, bringer of new life and resurrection

This, this is the God who invites us to a meal where Jesus is both guest and host. See, Holy Communion isn’t something WE create for God’s sake.  It is something we are invited to participate in by God.  It’s a holy meal that we can only receive. 

I ask myself, would this gracious and generous God put this meal on hold while many among us are struggling and lonely?  Would our God ask us to wait, indefinitely, before we can hear the words, “given and shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins,”? I suspect this is a time when God is longing for us to receive these gifts of bread and wine, Jesus own body and blood, and their promises of forgiveness of sin and new life.  As we are isolated from the very gathering of the community that we so love, I trust God still invites us to share in this meal that unites us as one body in the name of Christ.

On Pentecost, May 31st,  you will still hear one of your Pastors remember the story, “on the night when Jesus was betrayed….”  You will still hear the words, “given and shed for you.”  You will still be gathered with your siblings in Christ, albeit through an online community.  You can still trust that Jesus will be present as guest and host and will be in, with and under the bread and wine that you provide. 

I know that communing in my home will never be my preferred context.  I would much rather be gathered with all of you, my church family, to celebrate this meal together.  Many among us have shared meals via Facetime with family in these days.  It is not the same as being physically together, but it’s what we have right now—and the love we have for each other is still present.  So will God’s love be present with us as we gather around God’s big table on May 31st.  Jesus will show up.  Together we will be fed and nourished.  It will help strengthen us until the day when we can gather together, in a “good order” context, to share this meal face-to-face. 

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1 comments on article "Daily Devotion"

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barbara a watson

Pastor Heidi - this was wonderful! You could not have explained it any better - so heartfelt and made me feel so good and ready to commune with you this weekend! Every thought was so true with God's table and our devotion to him.

Thank you so much for your unending work to keep us together and praise God's word!

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