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 Bea Broder-Oldach

You are the light of the world.. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.  Matt 5:14-16 ESV

With Lent comes the traditional conversation about making a Lenten sacrifice, “ giving something up” as a practice of spiritual discipline. At the beginning of Lent last year, we were just awakening to the new reality of a global pandemic. In a pandemic, people are asked to give up so many things and by the time Lent gave way to Holy Week 2020, many church buildings were closed for in person gatherings. It  seemed like we were in a season of Lent- extended version. Trying to make sense of it all, some  chose to engage the pandemic experience as a Lenten spiritual  practice, accepting the necessary “giving up” of familiar patterns of living as a journey of faith.

Mindfully letting  go of the familiar can lead us on new pathways, and the possibility of making meaning from the grief and loss of the people, places, experiences and patterns that form the fabric of our lives. It is not an easy path, with the difficult tensions, fear, deep division and brokenness of these times. Still, in the midst of the hardships we have carried this year, there has also been signs of  blessing. In this pandemic time now bookended by two Lents,  many people shifted from “ giving up something” to simply “giving as they were able” by making masks, delivering meals, providing childcare, calling shut ins- and for essential workers, by serving at risk for the sake of others. Acts of love as these and countless others make a powerful witness to our resurrection faith in the triumph of life over death.

In the peeling back our familiar ways of life, a larger spiritual landscape comes into view, inviting us into a deeper, transformative journey with God. For me, it was the peeling away of my “ taking life for granted layer”  that opened a new vista, awakening  my senses to  the abundant beauty of God’s creation, and cultivating gratitude for the generosity of people giving to others in ways both simple and profound. Love has the power to transform this dark winter of pandemic into the promise of new life. Have you seen it?  Where have you seen Resurrection light breaking through these challenging times? What can it look like?


Resurrection light looks like kindness, breaking through isolation. Two people approach one another as they walk along a sidewalk. One steps back to allow the other to pass with a safe space between them, speaking a deeper kind of hello. “ Be safe today.”

Resurrection light looks companioning, offering peace of mind and safety. Grocery workers shop for others, delivering needed supplies to homes or into the trunk of a vehicle. A word of encouragement or friendly greeting  offers a moment of  human contact and care. 

Resurrection light looks like compassion, offering comfort, care, celebration and consolation.  A friend sends cards and sets up video chats to people living in isolation during the pandemic. Car Parades are arranged for memorial celebrations, for birthdays, graduations and anniversaries.

Resurrection light looks like justice, creating access to food, shelter and health care.   Church communities fill their food pantries and create safe and dignified ways to distribute food to people, many experiencing food scarcity for the first time. Health care providers place Covid testing sites in accessible locations, on bus lines and in pop up sites. 

Resurrection light looks like stewardship, Techies design new ways for us to stay connected as families, friends, colleagues, and as church as we ZOOM and travel a virtual highway together.  School buses deliver meals to their students learning at home.    A neighbor turns her garage space into a library for young children at home. 

Resurrection light looks like Love, breaking through barriers, transforming and restoring life. As people of faith, we know that the pandemic is not the end of the story. We are part of a larger story of grace and new life. May your Lenten journey be blessed with grace, peace, and hope. Be safe and be well. 

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2 comments on article "Daily Devotion"

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Danelle Buelsing

Bea, I found your point that the pandemic is "bookended" between 2 Lent seasons to be interesting -- I hadn't thought of it that way before. I also really liked your beautiful examples of "Resurrection light".


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Bea Broder-Oldach

Thank you Danielle..we surely are living in amazing times.

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