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

We are officially in the second half of the Advent season.  So far we have focused on preparing our hands and our homes for the coming of Christ.  This week we will spend time preparing our hearts. This work is about getting our “interior” ready—attitudes, hopes, fears, struggles and joys—what is inside of us that helps or hinders our readiness for Jesus coming?  The question we ask this week, “Is your heart in stable condition?” (do you see what I did there?)

John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

One of the traits that I am most grateful for in many of my friends and loved ones is that they are forgetful.  Forgetful, not in a “I forgot your birthday,” or “I forgot to get milk at the store” kind of way, but grateful that they are forgetful when it comes to my screwups and shortcomings.  Grateful they can forgive and accept me even when I step on their toes or act in ways that could potentially damage our relationship.  In short I am grateful that my friends and loved ones are practiced at offering me grace, because I would live a lonely existence if they were not.

Our God is also forgetful.  As is pointed out in John’s Gospel Jesus came to live among us, full of grace and truth.  A theological definition of grace that I find helpful is this, “The freely given unmerited favor and love of God.”  God’s grace comes to us in spite of our screwups and shortcomings, freely given, unmerited.  Let us not forget this as we prepare our hearts in this season, grace can only be received, not earned.

How often do we find our hearts on a treadmill of striving—striving to be good enough, faithful enough, generous enough to earn God’s presence with us?  Part of preparing our hearts is to get off of the treadmill of striving—and remember that our God is forgetful.  Jesus just comes among us full of grace.  Author Scott Erickson says it this way in his book Honest Advent:

“To see Jesus as full of grace means there wasn’t any perfection checklist that was met to deserve his presence.  His arrival  stands against the idea that if you do what is right, you get access to his presence.  His presence was freely given.  He never withheld it.  Grace is presence not withheld.” 

Grace is presence not withheld.  What a powerful statement.  Preparing our hearts means acknowledging that the one we wait for is already with us.    What are the obstacles that keep you from trusting we have a forgetful God who comes to dwell among us full of grace and truth?

If you are reading Luke’s Gospel this month, today is Luke 15, here is the link: Luke 15

 

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