Daily Devotions
 

For the next several weeks, as we observe the “Stewardship Season”, our daily devotions will be written by members of Good Shepherd.  I (Pastor Heidi) asked these folks to reflect on how the ministry of Good Shepherd impacts their life, whether through relationships they have, worship experiences or other meaningful ways our corporate life touches them.  As you read their powerful testimonies let your mind also explore how Good Shepherd’s ministry has touched YOUR life in meaningful ways.  How has your faith be deepened because of your church home?

Just a reminder that May 23rd is Stewardship Sunday and we are inviting you to return your Estimate of Giving card on that day when you come to worship.  You can also mail your form in, or fill it out on line.  Our goal as a congregation is to increase our giving by $1000 per week in the year ahead. Thank you.  Now enjoy today’s devotion.

Pastor Heidi Johns

 

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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Past Devotionals Links

Daily Devotion

by retired Pastor, Larry Donner

Daily Devotion

by retired Pastor, Larry Donner

Daily Devotion

by retired Pastor, Larry Donner

Daily Devotion

by retired Pastor, Larry Donner

Daily Devotion

by retired Pastor, Larry Donner
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