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
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

As we continue our journey through the season of Advent; a season of waiting, hoping, preparing for the coming of Christ, we ponder how to be ready when Christ comes among us.  This week our theme is “preparing our homes.”  We will look at some things that we can do to create space around us that will invite us into times of prayer and contemplation, and also call us to live lives that reflect the one for whom we wait. 

One of the things that happens in many homes as we get closer to Christmas is that wrapped presents start to show up under the tree.  Sometimes, LOTS of wrapped presents.  Gift giving is an important part of how we celebrate this season, and it can bring great joy. However, there can also be feelings of anxiety in trying to find the “perfect” gift for someone, or the hangover of debt that some households experience when January comes. Sometimes the gift bag is a mixed bag of good and not so good.

I’m reading a book called “The Advent Conspiracy” by Rick Mckinley, Chris Seay and Greg Holder.  Among other things, the book encourages the idea of “giving relationally.”  Rather than try to explain what that means, let me share some examples from the book. 

There is the story of a dad who gave his college age daughter two blank leather bound journals for Christmas.  The instructions were that over the next year he would write in one journal and she would write in the other.  They both committed to writing down their observations about how life was changing, their fears and joys, what it was like to be a parent or how it felt to become more adult.  They shared words capturing their joys, sorrows and fears.  Then the next year on Christmas they exchanged the journals, offering each other the gift of these written words.

Another story was about  two young adult women who gave their Nana a large mason jar with 52 colorful strips of paper in it.  On each of the papers one of the woman had written a special memory or gratitude for how their grandmother had influenced their lives.  The instruction with the gift was that each week Nana was to take out one strip of paper and read it.  The grandmother decided she would do that each Monday morning—which soon became her favorite moment of the week.

One more story is about an adult son giving his father a pound of coffee beans, but with the stipulation that the gift could only be “used” when they were together.  This set up several opportunities for father and son to get together over coffee for conversation during the next several months.  

Anyway, you get the idea.  So, as people of faith, why might this kind of “relational giving” be important for us?  Well, if you think about it, Christmas is really about receiving the best relational gift of all—God coming to BE with us.  We didn’t receive an inanimate object wrapped with a bow.  We received a person who revealed the love of God to us.  Jesus gave himself to us.

So what if in your home this Christmas you don’t hear quite as much tearing of wrapping paper, but instead you hear the sound of conversation—sharing the gift of each other and the joy of human connection?

If you are reading Luke’s Gospel this month, today is Luke 9.   Here is the link: Luke 9


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Chris Nagle

Love this. Thanks for sharing.

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«June 2023»

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