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, Larry Donner

RESURRECTION

1 Corinthians 15.14-22 & 26

…and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ…The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

We are in the season of Easter. No, Easter is not merely a day in the Church’s way of thinking. It is a whole season – 50 days in length. We typically celebrate by filling church pews (or COVID-19 era online services) on Easter Sunday but then gleefully stay away from church the Sunday after Easter, referred to as “Low Sunday” by us cynics, because it tends to have the lowest attendance of any Sunday in the year! Perhaps that is why we always read the story of Thomas and his doubts on the Sunday after Easter. But that was yesterday’s devotional theme and I digress. Today, I want to talk about resurrection.

“If Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and our faith has been in vain,” writes Paul. In which case “…we are of all people most to be pitied.”

The resurrection of Jesus means everything! And everything is changed because of it! In a world so filled with death in “normal” times, let alone during a pandemic in which millions more than usual have died worldwide, the certain hope of resurrection we have through Christ is good news – glorious news! Easter is about resurrection! 

Those of you who know me and have heard me harp on this before won’t be surprised to hear it again. Others may be shocked just like I was when, in seminary, I first learned the biblical understanding of death and resurrection, causing me to be depressed for weeks because it made death more threatening than ever before. Here it is: Resurrection is not about dying and then our souls drifting off to some undisclosed heavenly realm while our bodies remain in a grave. That is the philosophy of Plato and means death is still victorious because our bodies remain dead. Resurrection is about the death of death! It is about being alive again in bodily form just as Jesus was; just as we proclaim in the Creed when we say “I believe…in the resurrection of the dead!

I could go on at length as I’m prone to do but I was instructed to keep my meditations to about 400 words and I’m already at 367! So, if you want to delve more into a Christian understanding of Resurrection, read N.T. Wright’s “Surprised by Hope.” It’s exhilarating!

For now, please remember that Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus is the prelude to our own resurrection – the bodily life we await when Jesus returns, God’s new creation is made manifest, and death – the last enemy – is destroyed!

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