Daily Devotions

Hello Good Shepherd!

During the first two weeks in June, our Daily Devotions will be lifting up stories from our God’s Grace Your Hands event held on September 8, 2019.  On that day we gave every household in attendance at worship a check for either $100, $250 or $500, sealed in an envelope.  The “Pay To The Order Of” line on the check was left blank so the recipients could gift the check to whomever they would like.   Our instructions were simple, “Go and share God’s blessings with the world.”  Here are just a few of the stories of what folks did with the check they received, may the stir up your own desire to find Joy in Generosity.


Pastor Heidi Johns

Event date: 4/28/2020 Export event
Mark Buelsing

Daily Devotion

Since Ohio’s call to shelter in place in mid-March, Steve and I have spent most Saturday evenings watching a movie together, enjoying a snack or two.  Sometimes it has been an old favorite that we have seen before and other times it has been something just released.  You might say it has become a quarantine ritual.  This past Saturday, Steve and I watched the movie, The Two Popes, which was released in 2019.  For Steve, it was his first time to see it and for me it was my second time.  

I highly recommend this quiet yet powerful movie which pulls back the curtain and lets viewers see the relationship between the two popes and their call and their desire to serve God, the church and the people of God in the world.  

This movie highlights for me how Pope Francis continues to challenge Christians  to be courageous, go out with our faith engaged and meet  people every day.  He believed as Christians we should create a “culture of encounter”.  To encounter people is to do as Jesus said in the parable found in Matthew 25 but especially verses 34-37.  To encounter people is to do  as the Quaker, George Fox suggests, “Walk joyfully on the earth and respond to that of God in every human being.”  To encounter people is to serve them.   I think Pope Francis would say to  encounter people is to really see their situation, and then respond to it by looking them in the eye and touching them on the hand as we serve.  

Then as I listened to Pastor Alice’s sermon on Sunday where she spoke about encountering Jesus at the UDF, all of these thoughts coalesced for me.  Someone much wiser than me said, “We do not think ourselves into a new way of living, we live/act ourselves into a new way of thinking.”  When we truly encounter people in their circumstances we are changed and our hearts are open to them.

For me, right now because of the times we live in, we seem to be given the chance to encounter people, experience the God in them and have our hearts opened wide once again.

So I am wondering, in this time of sheltering in place, how are you encountering Jesus in the other and how has this opened your heart?


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