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 Pat Badkey

Daily Devotion

The Psalms are sometimes called the prayer book of the Bible.  Perhaps the reason for this is that the 150 Psalms give voice to all the different moods we might feel as God’s faithful, prayerful, pilgrim people.

Today I wanted to write about Psalm 51, which I invite you to read in its entirety.  The authorship of this psalm is often attributed to David, when he was confronted by the prophet Nathan, for the many terrible actions he took because he coveted Bathsheba.  This psalm is also probably familiar to many people because it is used on Ash Wednesday at the beginning of Lent, when the church, the body of Christ takes time to reflect on the quality of our faith and our lives.  This time of reflection during Lent was never meant to be maudlin, but rather serve as a time of restoration, transformation and spiritual growth all rooted in the gift of baptism. 

But I have to admit, earlier in my life, when I would read this psalm in liturgy, it was a time to beat myself up on all the things I did not do as a follower of Jesus.  For example, I did not always speak well of my friends, I was quick to judgment about their behavior, I stood by and said nothing when I could of spoken out for what was right.  Yes, I had a lot of failures as a follower of Jesus which I knew so well because as this psalm says, my sin was ever before me, verse 3,

However, over time, I began to recognize, what the psalmist was asking  and praying for, was that God’s light would enter his/her life to restore it and transform it so it would reflect God’s love and concern for the world.  Leonard Cohen, wrote and sang, “Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything , that’s how the light gets in.”  Cohen’s words speak to my heart as a follower of Jesus because they invite me to be faithful and engaged in God’s vision for the world my whole life long knowing I will not always get it right.   So there is no reason to be ashamed to pray for God’s steadfast love to cleanse us, verses 1 & 2;  or for God to teach us wisdom in our secret hearts, verse 6; or for God to create in us a clean heart and put a new and right spirit within us, verse 10 because these are ways that God’s light gets into our lives and change them for God’s purposes and for good of the world. 

So on days when I struggle to reflect God to others by what I say, think and do, I often find myself praying, “create in me a clean heart and put a new and right spirit within me.  For me Psalm 51 is not about my failure but my transformation as God’s beloved child.

When you read Psalm 51, what words speak to your heart?  What is God saying to you through these verses?

If you would like to listen to a beautiful rendition of the Psalm 51, please listen to https://youtu.be/noUeQQ64Q1I 

 

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