Devotionals
 

Devotionals are short essays written by GSLC members and staff that explore the ways the Holy Spirit works within our every day lives.  There are several ways we invite you to use these devotionals:

  • Make them a part of a prayer practice - read a devotion and consider the ways that Christ has worked similarly in your life or works in unexpected ways.
  • Make them a part of a journaling practice - read a devotion and journal about what the Holy Spirit is stirring in you as you reflect on the essay.
  • Use them as a reminder that God works in all things, the bad and the good.

With over 400 available devotions, you can use these daily, weekly, or monthly.  It's up to you!  We just hope that by reading these inspiring stories provided by Good Shepherd's flock you are able to better see where Jesus is present in all things!  Thank you to all of our members that have provided devotionals throughout the past couple of years!

 
Daily Devotion
Pastor Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion

First Article of the Apostles’ Creed—On Creation

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth

In my devotions this week I am going to be digging into the Apostles’ Creed and Martin Luther’s explanations found in the Small Catechism.  My hope is that taking some time to sit with these well-worn words will help us to hear them in a new way, and our connection to them will be strengthened.  So here we go….

The first thing we learn about God in Scripture is that God is the creator of heaven and earth.  It is also the first thing we confess when we say the Apostles’ Creed.  It seems like a great place to start, admitting we are not god, while acknowledging God who is responsible for creating everything that exists, including us.  What we learn of God’s creation, from the very first story in the Bible, is that it is “very good.”  What we learn of God’s creation from our own experience is that it is beautiful and amazing and resilient.  Watching the brilliant colors of a sun setting over the ocean, holding a newborn baby, witnessing the miracle of the earth renewing itself each Spring, all these things remind us of God the creator of heaven and earth.  For many among us, witnessing God’s amazing handiwork in nature is one of the most powerful “proofs” of God’s existence.

Martin Luther lifts up two important points for us to ponder about this first article of the Creed in his Small Catechism.  First, Luther writes, “I believe that God has created me together with all that exists.”  That word, “together” is key.  Relationships are an important part of how creation works.  Nothing is meant to exist in a vacuum, not needing the rest of creation.   Nothing exists in and of itself. The study of ecosystems reveal how organisms are interconnected.  We have learned that as humans we must care for the rest of creation.  In these days of pandemic we are learning that it is very challenging to stay isolated from people we love.  Of course it’s challenging, from the beginning of creation we were meant to be in relationship!  We were meant to hug and laugh and sing together.  These days apart reinforce that relationships are a critical aspect of creation. 

Luther also says, “God daily and abundantly provides…and protects.”  This is a reminder that God didn’t just create everything that exists and walk away.  God’s desire for creation is that it would be sustained and thrive.  God continues to create and provide for creation.  Even now, God is abundantly providing for us.  How?  Well, partly through the gifts we share together for the common good.  Farmers share their crops.  Doctors share their gifts of knowledge and healing.  Teachers share their gifts of helping others learn.  The bagger at the grocery store graciously helps me get my groceries safely home so I can nourish my body.  Through creation God has given us each other as an expression of God’s abundant provision and care. 

Finally Luther invites our response to God’s goodness in creation by saying this, “For all of this I owe it to God to thank and praise, serve and obey him.  This is most certainly true.”

For reflection: what parts of God’s creation have helped you grow in faith?  In what ways do you feel God abundantly providing for you these days?  What does it mean to you to “thank, praise, serve and obey” God?

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