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 Kellie Grabenbauer

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19-20

I love a good road trip. Especially when I can drive alone, with total control over the thermostat and radio. Which is how I found myself a few weeks ago, driving to Lexington and listening to my local NPR station. 

There was a lot to unpack there in the third week of January: the Capitol riots, inauguration, Amanda Gorman. Anger, fear, hope. An avalanche of emotions from and for all sides of the political spectrum. 

There comes a point on I75, where my radio signal pushes its limit. Gradually, my clear programming starts to scramble. For about 10 miles, 91.7 FM is shared space on the airwaves for NPR and Freedom Radio, a Christian broadcasting service. I caught snippets of a second conversation breaking in. The messages, juxtaposed, sounded something like this: “He went with his disciples.” Looking forward to the Biden administration,” “Garden of Gethsemane”. “Republican counterparts disagree” “And He prayed, “Thy will be done, Father.” 

I resolved to let it play out because my mind was fascinated by this epic struggle of mixed messages. I found myself contemplating my own Shared Spaces. 

The last 18 months have been a steady stream of conflict over what seems like Every.Single.Thing. Pandemic response, racial justice, economic inequality, election results. Anyone quarantined with toddlers or teenagers?! I get how 91.7 feels. How do we share space with others who so solidly disagree with us? How do they share space with us? Whose message comes through clearly? When did we stop listening? 

We find ourselves carrying on parallel conversations, speaking before we listen, judging before we understand. I look around and see fractured relationships, distrust, and anger even among family and friends. It’s exhausting. 

So what do we do? Turn off the radio and switch to Spotify? It’s safe. I can listen to what I want. What fits my narrative and mood. I can stay in my comfort zone but there’s not a lot of growth there. It might be lonely. 

Or wait it out to see which side comes out on top? After a few solid minutes of clarity from one station, comes a final interruption from the other. Yep. I get that too. I want the last word. Who “wins” just depends on where you’re parked and which signal is stronger. Is that resolution? I don’t think it’s progress. 

Or do I change the channel all together? Tune it out. Refuse to be part of the struggle and miss being part of the solution? 

I think the answer is in this bible verse from James. I love the phrase “quick to listen, slow to speak.” I, for one, need this reminder in 2021. It’s an invitation to engage in uncomfortable conversations. To put relationships at the center of resolution. To embrace our shared spaces and the people in them. In drawing closer to others, we draw closer to God. I’m happy to tell God what I think but if I’m honest, how often do I listen or wait patiently for His reply? It’s a work in progress. I hope you’ll join me. 

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2 comments on article "Daily Devotion"

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Sharon Downing

Such an inspiring array of thoughts for us to consider, Kellie. I drive the I75 route between Cincy & Georgetown, KY, a LOT & usually start to lose WVXU around Dry Ridge. Sometimes WGUC's transmission lasts a little longer, but in the future, when I experience the mish-mash of stations, your devotional thoughts will come back to me. Thank you!

Sharon Downing

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Danelle Buelsing

I love this, Kellie! Such a creative message!

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«January 2022»

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