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?)

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

“Now. Here. This.”  I saw that phrase on the bumper sticker once.  It caught my eye because the “here” is not the spelling of “hear” that we would expect in that phrase.  I have since learned this phrase was a concept taught by 20th Century Trappist Monk Thomas Merton.  A Broadway play of the same name was written based on Merton’s teaching about living in the moment, a way of life that the phrase promotes.    

As Advent invites us to prepare and wait, it seems to be a season that calls us to focus on the future, or maybe even the past, but the “right now” seems rather inconsequential.  The right now is something to simply endure as we wait for the next thing.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  We can only experience God in this moment.  Yes, we trust that God has been with us in the past, and we trust that no matter what the future holds, God will be there to meet us, but God’s presence can only be experienced in the now.

An important part of preparing our hearts is to live in the now.  To be fully present here. To focus on the this.  One of the most effective ways to do this is to become aware of your breath.  To take a deep breath in…..and exhale.  And repeat.  And repeat again.  The next step is to become aware of your body, resting in a chair, feet grounded on the floor.  Again take a deep breath in….and exhale.  Now release the racing of your mind from thought to thought, and focus on your breathing, (a deep breath in…..and exhale).  Now, focus on one word, like “peace” or “joy” or “love”, or whatever word your calming mind seems to put forth.  Let that word be your prayer today.  

The God who is coming, deeply desires to meet you NOW, in THIS moment.  The God who is coming is already HERE, already loving you beyond what you can imagine.  The God who is coming is present in the Now. Here. This. of your life.

Throughout your day today, pause and breath.  Feel your body.  Quiet your mind.  Open your heart to how God is transforming you in the Now. Here. This. 

If you are reading Luke’s Gospel this month, today is Luke 17, here is the link: Luke 17

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