Devotionals
 

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!

 
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

For these devotions, I drew inspiration from the texts in the Daily Lectionary, which can be found, among other places in the back of the ELW (which is chocked-full of resources and not limited to hymns sung on Sundays).The daily lectionary has been a part of my devotional life for years now and I have written devotions for an upcoming Christ in Our Home booklet based on selections from it. I love the lectionary, not just for corporate Sunday readings, but for personal reflection as well. The readings of the daily lectionary thematically bookend the Sunday readings. The lectionary reminds us that God’s Word, of which the Bible is just a part, always comes to us, not the other way around. It encourages us to reflect on passages from throughout the Bible, even ones we don’t really like or understand, rather than just picking out our familiar favorites. I hope that these reflections will encourage you to explore the daily lectionary in your daily spiritual practice.


Numbers 22:1-21

Balaam is a prophet who is paid to ask questions of God and give kings God’s answers. What is interesting in this story is that Balaam is not a member of the tribe of Israel, yet the God from whom he seeks answers is the same God of the Israelites coming into the promised land from Egypt! I had to read this passage twice, in two translations, and check the notes to confirm this. Here we have a non-Israelite as a prophet of the same God of Jacob? Seems crazy, right?

Recently, I have been reading the book, Without Buddha I Could not be a Christian, by the theologian Paul Knitter a former professor at Xavier. In the book he talks about his struggles with certain, sometimes important, parts of the Christian faith. It is only with his interaction and study of Buddhism that allows him to better understand his own faith and remain a Christian.

I have had similar experiences as Knitter describes and have grown a lot from my understanding of Buddhism and practicing Buddhism. It had deeply influenced my spiritual life and my relationship with God and all creation.

Today’s reading from Numbers reminds us that God does not only speak through the prophets of Israel or, in our context, only from Christians. While I cannot leave behind the Christian faith, I do believe that God can also speak through other prophets like the Buddha and other voices, religious or not. 

Years ago I would not be able to make such a statement and it may be difficult for some of you to reckon with. I encourage you to reflect on times that you have heard God’s voice from a surprising or unexpected place.

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