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.  


Daily Devotion
Pastor Alex Hoops

Daily Devotion

Have you ever been confronted by a new idea, experience, or perspective that throws you completely off your balance?

I am most often thrown off center by my expectations being dashed. Not just when there is a different result than I expected, but a completely unfounded or unforeseen negative outcome.  I am frustrated and irritated that something like this could happen. Why? How? This was never on my radar! This must be a mistake. I feel like Job when he is ranting that if God confronted him on these terrible missteps, God would have no good evidence to support why these bad things are happening to him. Even God would be speechless before the perspective of Job. Because as Job has seen it, Job has fully considered all the angles, all the traditions, all his wisdom and has determined:  God would most certainly agree that Job is blameless, and a cosmic mistake, an existential misstep, has taken place in his case.

Then God says in Job Chapter 40 (essentially) “SO, are you ready to take this to court? Is this your argument you are going with? That I am incapable of knowing more than you? That my justice is flawed? Do you presume to tell me what I’m doing wrong?  Are you calling me a sinner so you can be a saint? Do you have an arm like my arm?  Can you shout in thunder the way I can? Go ahead, show your stuff.  Let’s see what you’re made of, what you can do. Unleash your outrage.”

Job, of course, hears this and says (essentially)

 “I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me. 

    I should never have opened my mouth!

I’ve talked too much, way too much!

    I’m ready to shut up and listen.”

My initial reaction to challenging situations is to take the Job route and confront it right back. Express my outrage. Fight back. It’s a natural response. However, in the midst of a world that continues to challenge my expectations, am I to believe that God’s hand is nowhere to be found in it? Am I to believe God has lost God’s grip on creation? Am I to believe the Spirit has no part to play in these days? Of course not. And if I truly believe this, then perhaps I can take a page from Job and instead of expressing my outrage and seeking a court to air my grievances, it may be a good time for me to cover my mouth… and listen.

Resisting my urge to fight, separate, argue, and justify myself and instead, open my ears, my eyes, my heart, and my whole self what Eugene Peterson calls “the frustrations and failures of loving.” Loving and daring to believe that failing in love towards my neighbors is better than succeeding in my own pride.

 

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