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

by Tara Chapin

by Tara Chapin

When I was asked to write a devotion for this season, I had to do some hard thinking. I know the basic themes of the Lenten season are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. After such a trying year, and so much political unrest in our country, I thought I would share with you a prayer I wrote to help me with my anxiety. I think we can all relate. It helps to bring me peace, put my priorities in order, and re-focus me on what’s important. May our congregation use this Lenten season to pray for those with whom we don’t agree, to fast from an unhealthy addiction to politics and controversy, and give alms freely in the form of food, healing, justice, and kindness. I hope to use this season of spiritual preparation to do some personal reflection and quiet focusing on how we, as a country, can find humility and redemption. We will never be worthy of the sacrifice Jesus gave on the cross. We cannot earn it.  But we can honor it in this way. 

My Prayer for our country:
God, you know the beginning and the end. You are the Alpha and the Omega. You were always here. This moment in time is not even the blink of an eye on a linear timeline of history. God, you’ve known ruthless kings and dictators. You’ve seen unfathomable suffering. You’ve felt the darkest depths of despair. You’ve watched evil blanket entire civilizations. And even then, you’ve seen hope. You’ve seen resiliency, when it seemed impossible. You’ve seen courage, self-sacrifice, deep wells of compassion. You’ve seen a species worth saving. Again, and again and again. 

God, I know that this election and its aftermath doesn’t put a large dent in your “end game.” To think so would be egocentric. We’re such a young and arrogant nation. I know that wisdom only comes with time and experience, which we never really seem to achieve. We easily forget the mistakes of our past. I’m told that many of our nation’s original ideas were with justice and freedom in mind, which I find truly admirable. But we cannot move further toward this goal unless we are willing to look at some hard truths. We are afraid of change. We are afraid of people who are different. We all fall disastrously short. We let “power” and “markets” lead before our hearts and common sense. In the end, I don’t know if our nation will go down in history as a beacon of liberty and hope, or as a cautionary tale. Help us. We can’t turn it around without you.  

God, you’ve given us an innate desire to route for the underdog, despite insurmountable odds. I LOVE this about us. We always cheer for redemption! I think this is because every story of redemption is much like our own. We can relate. We tell the same story again and again in our art. Every movie. Every epic book series. If you made us in your image, I have to believe that you desire this too! You’ve told us that you wish to care for us, so that we can live life to the fullest. Help us to not stand in your way. I pray that we would be worth redeeming.

God, more than anything, I pray that your will would be done. Remind us that patriotism isn’t faith, and that we cannot serve two gods. Remind us that our integrity and relationship with our neighbors matter, maybe even more than a fleeting president or government. Remind us that it’s our responsibility to inspire our government, and not the other way around. I pray that you would again restore us, and help our fractured pieces heal together. I pray that you would help us see each other in a different light; to see your image in people with whom we don’t agree. I pray that you would help us stop seeing our neighbors as “conservatives” and “liberals,” so that we could work together to improve this nation you’ve entrusted us with. That we would have a chance to show you our innate resiliency. To rise from the dead, like you.

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4 comments on article "Daily Devotion"

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Carol Wuebbling

Tara, I felt lifted up and encouraged by your Devotional. Many thanks, too, for the connection between Christ's rising from the dead, and our own sought-after resiliency...a powerful image.

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Chris Nagle

Thanks for the contribution. Love this part: "Remind us that patriotism isn’t faith, and that we cannot serve two gods. Remind us that our integrity and relationship with our neighbors matter, maybe even more than a fleeting president or government."

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Thank you, Tara- this is powerful!

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Danelle Buelsing

Tara, your prayer is both powerful and empowering. I am especially moved by the image of our present time on God's timeline. It puts a lot of things into perspective.

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