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

If there’s anything I love about a board game it’s stacking things. It’s weird, I know, there’s just something satisfying about putting one thing on top of another—I can’t really explain it. My daughter Abi laughs and rolls her eyes at me every time I bring home a game with stacking as part of the mechanics! I’m also a sucker for anything forest- or garden-themed, so it was completely unsurprising that I bought “Miyabi,” a Japanese-garden-themed stacking game. 

“Miyabi” has tiles of different shapes (think Tetris) with garden features like ponds, azaleas, stones, and tea-houses on them that you lay on your garden plot to get points. You stack these tiles according to certain restrictions and end up with a multi-level garden that is soothing to look at and satisfying to add to. This particular game is part of a group of games that I bought over the last few months that I’d categorize as “Aggressively Soothing,” that is, when I play them, I find my anxiety draining away and my breathing slowing and deepening. It doesn’t matter if I win or not, it doesn’t even matter if my opponent takes the tiles I want for my garden—there are others that fit well, that make my garden more beautiful. 

Every time I play this or others in this category, I find myself feeling better about the world and I don’t think it’s entirely escapism. Jesus invites us to consider the lilies when we’re feeling worried, not because we ought to do better but because the natural world is our home, because God made and is present in all of Creation, and because green plants literally help us heal. These months of Covid have been stressful in a myriad of ways and stacking little garden tiles helps me process and let go of that stress. Hiking in the woods with my students helps me process and let go of that stress. Just sitting on my front stoop and looking at the river birch in my front yard and remembering that God made it and me helps me process and let go of that stress.

What natural, green things are you considering and letting heal you? Where are you hiking or strolling and what plants catch your eye? What is growing in your life?

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