Daily Devotions
 

Welcome to Good Shepherd’s Daily Devotions Page!

In the church year the season of Epiphany falls between the seasons of Christmas and Lent.  It is a time when we focus on how God’s hope is revealed in Jesus.  In this season we read the stories of the Baptism and Transfiguration of Jesus and the calling of the Disciples.  Each story reveals a bit about who Jesus is, and what his life means for us and our call to be disciples.

Our Devotions for the season of Epiphany have been written by members of the Good Shepherd staff.  May they enlighten and inspire you and light your path to a deeper walk with God.

Pastor Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

Matthew 25:31-40 -- The Judgement of the Nations

31 ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

One of the easiest places where we might practice the three-fold path of compassion is with those we know very well.  It is easy for us to be compassionate towards a family member who is sick or is struggling.  It is easy for to care about a friend who has suffered a great loss or who is hurting.  However, this parable from Matthew’s gospel also reminds us that we are called to be compassionate to those who live more on the edge of society and our suffering.  In this parable we are called to extend compassion to others far beyond our comfortable boundaries.  Yes, we may help feed hungry but do we reach out to those, who come in a distressing disguise of some kind?

The life of Mother Teresa illustrated for many Christians, what being compassionate towards the suffering and who lived on the edge of society just might look like when she and her Missionaries of Charity served the poorest of the poor in Calcutta.  She reminded those who served, that it was necessary to be in love with Jesus, so to be able to feed him in the hungry and the lonely, to care for him in the frail and commonplace.  

When we have compassion for those who suffer and are on the edge of society, we are challenged to let the love of Christ flow through us without stereotyping a person or making judgements or assumptions about their situation.  It is these things which sometimes influences our willingness to help.  But we know Jesus often came to aid of those who lived on the outside, think about the leper, and offered the attention and aid.  By his actions Jesus incarnated God’s compassionate love for those who needed it most.  May we also show the love of God in this way.

When you read this parable from Matthew’s gospel which action listed is easy for you to do as a disciple?  Which action is hardest?  How would you describe the difference to a friend?

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