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 Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion

Second Article of the Apostle’s Creed—on Redemption (part 1)

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary…..

I love a story that Pastor Alice tells in one of her books about how in her former Parish the staff would often refer to folks who came to the church looking for help with rent money or food, as Jesus. So, when Alice asked one of her colleagues what they did that day, a response might be, “Oh, I talked to Jesus and gave him some money for rent.” That was not to make light of the situation, but was a way to remind themselves that Jesus is present among us. That shouldn’t surprise us, Jesus told us as much in Matthew 25—"For whatever you have done for the least of these, you have done to me.”

The second article of the Apostles’ Creed is about Jesus.  No single creed could ever include all the details of Jesus’ life, so what is included are important points that affirm who Jesus is (and is not).  An important point that we learn is that Jesus was born.  Seems simple enough, until you remember that Jesus is God.  The Apostles’ Creed affirms the incarnation.  That God took on human flesh.  While we might accept that as a key part of our faith, not everyone did in the early church.  In fact it was a very heated debate among early theologians. Was Jesus truly human, or did he only appear to be human?  Over the course of time most Christians (Lutherans included) accept the mystery of faith that Jesus was both fully human AND fully divine.  As part of that, he was born. 

The first chapter of John’s Gospel tells us, “the Word became flesh and lived among us.” That’s incarnation.  But why incarnation?  Why was it so important for Jesus to become like us in every way?  The first thing that probably comes to your mind is the Cross….we will talk about that more tomorrow.  But Jesus lived a lot of life before he got to that “good” Friday outside of Jerusalem.  As Jesus walked among us He revealed God’s nature to us.  He showed us God’s plans for us, and God’s hopes for creation.  Jesus gave us a glimpse of what it looks like when the Kingdom of Heaven draws near.  The lame walk, the sinner is forgiven, the blind see, the dead are raised, the poor have good news preached to them….you know the stories.  In a nutshell, Jesus came so we would know what God is like. 

I have been doing a fair amount of Zoom meetings these days.  Maybe you have too.  I have even had a couple of Zoom meetings with people I have never met in the flesh.  I confess, even though I may have talked to them over zoom for an hour or more, I don’t really feel like I completely know them.  Their voice was a little tinny.  I couldn’t tell if they were tall or short.  Sometimes we lost a connection and they froze up on the screen.  Zoom is GREAT and I am very glad it exists, but meeting someone on zoom isn’t like meeting them in the flesh.  Maybe to truly know God, we needed to meet God in the flesh.  Thus Jesus came to live among us. 

It all started when Jesus was born.  Took on flesh, and continues to be revealed among us in the face of friends and strangers and through the work of our own hands and feet.

Reflection: When is a time you felt as though you had had an encounter with Jesus in the flesh?

When you think of Jesus do you tend to think of him as human or divine?

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