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

Psalm 19:1-4

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
    It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.

A few summers ago, I spent a week at a Benedictine Monastery in Schulyer, Nebraska at a retreat titled, Boundless Compassion.  As you might imagine the retreat focused on compassion as a way of life for the disciples of Jesus.  And as you also might imagine some of the first topics, we covered were having compassion for the suffering and the ones who lived on the edge of society.  I expected and anticipated those discussions.  But on the third day the discussions shifted to having compassion for the earth.  This shift made me sit up and take notice.

The earth on which we live is a marvelous organism in its own right as Psalm 19 suggests.  The earth in many ways has its own self-regulating eco-system.  Here are some examples of what that means.   First, the earth has maintained a fairly steady surface temperature over hundreds of millions of years.  Second, the salt in the ocean remains below a saturation point so not to become lethal to plant and animal life.  And finally, the rain forests have acted as lungs for our planet.  Our planet is very complex but amazing because it gives us a place to live our lives.  The earth is a wonderful gift from God.

Do you remember what Sally Ride, the first female, USA astronaut said about the earth after seeing it from space?  She said, “The view of earth is spectacular and the feeling of looking back and seeing your planet is just an amazing feeling.  It is a totally different perspective, and it makes you appreciate, actually, how fragile our existence is.  You can look at Earth’s horizon and see this really, really thin blue line right along the horizon . . . that is the Earth’s atmosphere . . . and it is everything that separates you from the vacuum of space.”

Mother Earth is a magnificent place to live and she provides us with everything we need.  Practicing compassion towards our planet makes so much sense because she is our home and God has called us to practice good stewardship with this wonderful resource.

The two pictures included in this devotion are by Sister Mary Southard.  The first picture reminds me we are called to care for our home as God cares for us all.  The second picture reminds me that by living on the earth we are able to ponder all the wonders of creation, all the wonders of the universe.  What a gift Mother Earth is!

How would you describe the wonders of creation?  How do you show compassion to your earthly home?

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