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

Pastor Alice Connor

Daily Devotion

“Repent!”

That’s John the Baptist. And Jesus. And the prophets. And those guys with signs about how we are all going to hell who show up at ballgames and on campus. Repent! Change your ways! In Greek it’s metanoia which means “to turn” and we mean it in the Church as “to turn away from sin.” My father says, “I don’t want your sorrow, I want your repentance.” It’s not only feeling bad about something, it’s committing to not doing it again. I love to think of it as a literal turning, like the Shakers sang about or in the Canticle of the Turning that we sing at Good Shepherd sometimes. “The world is about to turn.”

When it comes to the sin of racism, we are again called to repentance, to not doing it again. We have to learn what “it,” racism, actually is, how it came to be, how it shows up, and then commit not only to feeling bad about it but not doing it any more. It’s a lot, I know. Perhaps if you think about something you’ve been working on in your own life separate from racism, it’ll help. If you’re working on responding less with anger or not cheating on your spouse or judging other people’s decisions less, you might notice that you don’t just decide to stop and then it’s done, right? It’s a process, there are steps. We have to keep engaging with the thing and see ourselves doing it.

Addiction recovery programs talk about the steps, of course, but also about making amends. Part of the process of repentance, it seems to me, is to see where we’ve caused harm, even a little, and then consider what it is we can do to make amends, to help the other person feel even a little bit better. There’s a word in the discourse about race that many white people have had extremely negative and dismissive reactions to: reparations. Take a moment to look at that word and notice its root: repair. This is a way of speaking about making amends for the harm of our ancestors, our culture, and even our own actions. How can we begin to repair the breach among us, how can we begin to repent?

What does reparations mean to you? What does amends or repair mean to you when it comes to relationships? When have you made amends to someone and, to put it simply, it worked? What was that like? What has it been like when your amends or reparations haven’t “worked”?

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