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
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

The season of Advent has begun!  Advent is a four week time of waiting and preparing for the coming of Christ; in Bethlehem as a baby, in our lives today, and at the end of time.  Our devotions during Advent will focus how we might prepare our lives for Christ’s coming.  This week our theme is, “Preparing Our Hands.” 

“It’s in God’s hands now,” is what she told me.  “She” was Lois, a woman from my congregation who had been battling cancer for some time.  Lois had undergone weeks of cancer treatments, trying to shrink a tumor.  The treatments had been successful enough that now surgery was possible, but still risky and with no guarantees.  What struck me about my visit with Lois that day was her deep sense of peace and calm.  She did not seem anxious or resigned.  I guess the word I would use to describe that moment is “trusting.”   She saw her future was secure with God, no matter what happened.

This week we have been thinking about our hands—and how the work of our hands can help us prepare for the coming of Christ in this Advent season.  I want to end the week with a focus on why what we do with our hands matters at all.  Our work matters because everything started “in God’s hands.”  Think of all that Jesus did with his hands when he became flesh and lived among us….

He touched and healed lepers, the sick, blind and lame
He folded his hands for long nights of prayer
He opened and read from scripture
He blessed children
He fed the hungry
He ate with tax collectors and sinners
His hands took the nails on the cross

All of what we have, do, are, is “in God’s hands.”  When we serve others with our hands it is in response to what Jesus did with his hands.  We have been commissioned by Jesus to continue his work—God’s work, our hands!  Our work is holy, because God has redeemed us and invited us to do it.  As we anticipate Christ’s coming (the hour of which no one knows) the best thing we can do while waiting is to engage our hands in meaningful work.

Back to Lois.  Her trust in God’s goodness and faithfulness inspired me.  She never lost her sense of calm, at least not that I could see.  The surgery was only marginally successful.  One of the last times I visited with her she held out her to hands to me and asked me to pray with her.  A few weeks later I would preside at her funeral.  At the service members of her family remembered the work of Lois’s hands in this life.  The care she offered to her family, friends and community.  Together we remembered the many ways Lois served the church with her hands.  But in the end the most important thing we remembered was that it was all “in God’s hands.”  God’s loving, nail scared hands that were open and ready to receive Lois into a sure and certain hope of life everlasting.  

As we end this week, offer up thanks and praise to the one who holds your life “in his hands.” On the cross God chose abundant life for all of us.  In the remaining weeks of Advent be mindful of how the work of your hands can bless and serve the world in the name of the one for whom we wait. 

If you are reading Luke’s Gospel this month, today is Luke 4, and over the weekend you will read chapters 5 and 6.  Here is the link to all three chapters: Luke 4-6

 

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