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 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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