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?)

Luke 2:6-7
While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Scripture doesn’t say if Mary experienced morning sickness when she was pregnant with Jesus, but chances are she did.  It’s a common issue in the early weeks of pregnancy and like millions of women before and after her, Mary most likely took it in stride.  Part of what helps women suffer through this unpleasant side effect is that they keep in mind the bigger picture.  They focus on the joy and hope and promise that comes with carrying a new life within them, rather than the unpleasantness of frequent trips to the bathroom to upchuck.  In the end, they trust that it will all be worth it.

You may be wondering where I am going with all this.  Well, I think preparing our hearts for God’s coming in this season of Advent may be a bit like being pregnant (please note, this is coming from someone who has never been pregnant, so I realize I could be way off base).  You see, when we open our hearts to God’s call—when we dare to echo Mary’s words, “let it be with me, according to your word,”  we will most likely discover that God’s desire is to birth something new in us.  That God wants to grow us beyond who we are now into a version of us that more deeply reflects God’s hopes for us.

The truth is this, when you open your heart in preparation and say to God, “have your way with me,” you probably should get ready for some discomfort.  There may be an invitation looming for you to get outside of your comfort zone; a call to deeper generosity that might dip into your actual bottom line rather than just skimming off the top; an opportunity to humble yourself with a long overdue apology; a push towards actually rolling up your sleeves to work alongside a neighbor in need rather than just looking the other way; a realization that what awaits you is a long obedience to God rather than a one-time service project. 

All that is like the morning sickness of preparing our hearts for God to enter in.  BUT, we are able to endure, like millions of disciples who come before and after us, because we focus on the big picture.  The joy and hope and promise of God growing a new thing in us.  This new life that is growing means we will be birthed into a new creation.  

 As you sit with God this season, heart wide-open and you find yourself experiencing some discomfort—maybe ask yourself these questions:

  1. How is God inviting you to grow through this struggle?
  2. How is God sustaining you in the midst of this struggle?

If you are reading Luke’s Gospel this month, today is Luke 16, here is the link: Luke 16

 

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1 comments on article "Daily Devotion"

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Mary Naylor

This devotion was especially meaningful to me. I have enjoyed all the devotions you have written and especially because they help us through what is happening now in our lives. We do need to reach out to others more now than ever but perhaps in different ways than we did previously.

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