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.  


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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