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

I will admit that my personality lends itself to seeking out joy and laughter. I am not that comfortable sitting in the midst of my own sadness or disappointment for long. I am aware of my own defense mechanisms! 
 
However, I admit that in the midst of a global pandemic I have felt a little anxious at times by the moments of joy or laughter I have encountered. Is now a time to laugh? Is now a time to be joyful, while in the midst of such suffering and turmoil?  Am I sufficiently weeping with those who weep? I don’t know.
 
But what of joy? Is there room for joy? For laughter? I have children who give me such great joy! Friends and colleagues who give me fits of laughter. I can’t say anything other than that I am grateful for those moments and those people. I am grateful because when I feel this sense of joy in them, I remember that Joy is what God gives, not what we work up. I’m going to quote Eugene Peterson again this week because I have been reading his book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, and I was reminded that, “laughter is the delight that things are working together for good to those who love God, not giggles that betray the nervousness of a precarious defense system.”
 
He continues, “One of the most interesting and remarkable things Christians learn is that laughter does not exclude weeping. Christian joy is not an escape from sorrow. Pain and hardship still come, but they are unable to drive out the happiness of the redeemed.”
 
“I have said these things to you,” Jesus said to his disciples, “so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” — John 15:11
 
For those of us who are weeping, we weep with you. For those who have been graced by moments of joy and laughter in the midst of it all, we give thanks to God.
 

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