Daily Devotions
 

Welcome to Good Shepherd’s Daily Devotions Page!

During the weeks of Fall, our Daily Devotions are being written by members of Good Shepherd.  Each day one of your brothers or sisters in Christ will be reflecting on faith and life as we all adjust to many changes in our world.  I pray these writings will inspire, comfort and challenge you to grow in faith.  Our dedicated authors have written about their insights, joys and struggles and have been courageous enough to share them with us so that we can also ponder where God is showing up in our own lives. 

As a way to encourage the writers and each other I invite you to share a comment in the comment section at the bottom of the page each day.

Pastor Heidi Johns

Event date: 5/28/2020 Export event
Pastor Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion

When I would teach the unit on the Sacraments to Confirmation students I used to take them on a field trip to the church’s sacristy, which is the little room off the sanctuary where there is a sink, small refrigerator, and cupboards to store communion ware.  It is in this room that the Altar Guild members prepare the elements for Holy Communion and Baptism.  I used to show the students that the water we use for Baptism just came from a “regular” faucet, the wafers came via the mail and were stored in Tupperware, and the wine was a “less expensive” brand from the liquor store down the street.

This was not to deflate the mystery of the sacraments, there is still plenty of mystery to go around! I did it to show them that God is able to take common, ordinary things, and use them for extraordinary purposes.  I suspect when you join us for “Holy Communion from home” this weekend, you will use what you have on hand.  Maybe a slice of bread from the loaf you’ve been making sandwiches from—or wine or juice from among your supplies.  Some of you may purchase special elements for this occasion, but it is not necessary.  I suspect when Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, he simply used the bread and wine that were on the table as a part of the meal.

So, how exactly, will these ordinary elements from our home “become” Holy Communion?  Well, in his Small Catechism, Martin Luther taught that the benefits we receive from God in Holy Communion are revealed in the words, “given and shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins.” Luther continues, “These words assure us that in the sacrament we receive forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.”

Luther goes on to point out that when God’s promises and God’s word are together with the bread and wine or water, that they become a “means” through which God’s grace comes to us. When Gods word “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sin,” is spoken, ordinary elements reveal God’s extraordinary promises.  In the mystery of it all Jesus is truly present, and forgiveness, life and salvation are ours.

This Sunday, Pastor Alex will Preside at the Lord’s Table, and God’s word will be spoken. Pastor Alex will remember the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  He will tell the story of what happened on the night when Jesus was betrayed, he will speak the words, “Given and shed, for YOU.”  He will speak God’s word and promise, as we set apart our bread and wine or juice.  Your bread and wine alone are just bread and wine.  But when they are joined to God’s word and God’s promise they are consecrated or set apart for a holy purpose, and Jesus will be truly present.

After the word is spoken, you will share this eating and drinking at home—either communing each other, or eating and drinking as Pastor Alex instructs.  As you eat and drink, you will share in this holy act with your sisters and brothers in Christ from Good Shepherd, and the Church gathered around the world from all times and places.  Together we will receive the promises of forgiveness, life and salvation as only God can provide.

It will be important that as a part of this Holy Meal you handle the elements with care and reverence, out of a sense of value both of what has been set apart by the word, and as a bearer or the presence of Christ.  To do this, please consume all of the bread and wine or juice that you have set aside for this Holy Meal.

I am looking forward to sharing this meal with you on the Festival of Pentecost, that great day when the Spirit brought together people of various tongues and tribes. Surely that same Spirit will draw us together through this Holy Meal.

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1 comments on article "Daily Devotion"

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William N. Smith

Pastor Heidi, I so enjoy these and get so so much from hearing your words. God Bless you 😊✝️

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