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!

 
Daily Devotion
Pastor Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion

The Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed-On Being Made Holy (part 2)

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

When we confess our belief in the Holy Spirit in the Creed we also confess our trust in the work of the Spirit.  That work is described in this final article of the Creed. 

First let me shed some light on one of the most misunderstood parts of the Apostles’ Creed, which is the use of the words, “holy catholic church.”  Many confirmation students have asked me why we confess to be Catholics in the creed if we are Lutherans.  It’s a fair question.  The answer lies in the fact that the “c” in catholic is not capitalized.  If it was capitalized we would be referencing the Roman Catholic Church.  Since it isn’t, we are confessing our understanding and belief in the church-catholic, or universal.  Meaning, we don’t believe that the Spirit is at work only at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, or even just through the wider Lutheran Church.  We believe that the Spirit is at work in Christian Churches all over the world that exist in all sizes, kinds and color.  There are many expressions, but only one church. Whenever the Spirit is at work in the holy catholic church, people are being shaped and led into a life that looks like Jesus and to bring the fruit of the Spirit out into the world. 

The “communion of saints, forgiveness of sins” refers again to the work of the Spirit making us holy, and offering us the reassuring words of forgiveness.  This is what happens when we gather as the holy catholic church, we are made wholly, holy.  We are made whole. It is an ongoing, active process.  I read somewhere that the church is not a museum for perfect people, but a hospital for those in need of healing.  We don’t have to be perfect to join a church.  We are welcomed as we are each and every week as the Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies us in true faith.   Those are present tense verbs that are ongoing.  The church is the primary, but certainly not the only, place where the Spirit’s work is done.  In his writing elsewhere Luther says this,

    “This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise.  We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way.  This process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on.   This is not the end but it is the right road.  At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed.”

Finally we are reminded that another active verb that describes the work of the Spirit is the word “raised”.  The Holy Spirit is in the resurrection business.  Even though we will never reach perfection in this life, our “forever home” will be with God.   This is most certainly true.

Reflection: how has the church been a blessing to you as it helped you grow in faith?  Who are some saints in your life that have helped you grow in faith?

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