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

by retired Pastor, Pete Rudowski

THE NAME SAYS IT ALL

Many years ago I taught a class titled The Parables Of Jesus.  At the beginning of each class session, I asked each participant to give a name, a title, to the parable being discussed.  The point was the name, the title, determined how the parable would be interpreted.

One of the parables we discussed was recorded in Luke 15:11-32.  Most, if not all, of the participants named the parable “The Prodigal Son.”  This name led to interpreting the parable through the behaviors of a rebellious son.  I offered the name “The Gracious Father” because many of my commentaries used this name instead of the prodigal son.  Now the interpretation centered on a waiting and forgiving father.  To stir the pot a little, I suggested “The Angry Brother” as the name because the son who stayed at home and met his father’s expectations was not very welcoming to his rebellious sibling.  We discussed this parable using all three names.

The concept of what we name a parable determines how we interpret the parable and how we apply it to our relationship with God and with each other.  For example, as we celebrate Easter, the resurrection of Jesus, we give a name, a title, to Jesus.  Following are three titles:

In the resurrection, Jesus is the son of God raised from the dead.  Son defines Jesus’ relationship with God.  The Gospel According to John has Jesus telling his disciples, and the reader, Jesus and God are one.  Those who see and know God see and know Jesus.

In the resurrection, Jesus is the risen Lord.  Risen means alive and well.  Lord is one who has authority and power over us.  If we name Jesus  Risen Lord, then we will think, speak, and behave according to Jesus’ values, attitudes, and lifestyle.

In the resurrection, Jesus is savior.  A savior is one who delivers, rescues, and  restores God’s people from evil.  If we name Jesus savior, we see him as the one who delivers and rescues us from sin, i.e., dysfunctional behaviors that hurt or destroy our relationship with God and others.

To be sure, these three names, titles, are used interchangeably but the one we use primarily reveals how we think about who God is and how God behaves.

One final thought.  If the names we use for parables and Jesus determine how we interpret each, the same can be said about the names, titles, we give to friends, neighbors, and those with whom we disagree. 

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