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 Pat Badkey

Daily Devotion

In this week’s Daily Devotions, I will be sharing poems which have spoken to my faith over the years.  I visit these poems again and again and each time they speak to me in new ways.  Now I want to say I am not a scholar in any form or fashion when it comes to poetry but I have enjoyed these poems.  I recently was part of a poetry circle, where we mindfully read a few selected poems.  By being in that circle, I was reminded that poems make us think and ponder and in the case of the poems I am sharing, they make me ponder my faith.  I pray you will find these devotionals helpful and another way that you too will encounter your faith and perhaps hear God speaking to you.

Praying by Mary Oliver
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
 
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
 
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NRSV)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I have always wondered what did it look like to rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in all circumstance as St. Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica.  Mary Oliver’s poem Praying helped me consider what that might look like in my life.  It now seems to me that part of praying without ceasing means paying attention to what we see happening around us each and every day and then patching together some words which we lift up to God.  I like the phrase in this poem when she says, “don’t try to make them elaborate” because it frees me to pray whatever is on my mind and in my heart in that moment.  So I may just lift up a prayer of thanks and gratitude when I hear good news.  Or I may stop to say I  am sorry when I have dropped the ball when it comes to living out my faith.  Or I may just stop and say help Lord when I know someone is hurting or I need God’s help.  Or I may just praise God for the beautiful sunrise I saw on my morning walk.  Just patch a few words together, they need not be elaborate, but be sure to do this--pray.

What does it mean for you to pray without ceasing?

What is a favorite poem which speaks to your faith?  Why?

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