Daily Devotions
 
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

by Tara Chapin

One of the most important things I want to instill in my children as they grow is a sense of deep personal and community connections. The last year, with all of its challenges, has helped me to see just HOW much we need them! Deep connections are at the core of our sense of stability in life. I would also argue that deep connections are at the core of our sense of SELF. When it comes down to it, we all just want to BELONG. But connections take time and intentionality. In a world where everything is available in an instant, it’s hard to slow down enough to make deep connections a priority.  Recently, a good friend from Good Shepherd explained it to me this way, “If one of us looses a job, we’re still here for each other. If one of us is having a hard time, we can all relate.” When we are connected on more than just a surface level, we are more resilient in hard times. 

Good Shepherd has been a great source of community and connections for me. I feel lucky to have formed those relationships far before a pandemic, when we were forced to get creative with our interactions. The MOPS group at Good Shepherd has been incredibly impactful for me, leading me to form personal and validating relationships with other mothers. What started as a place I went to find “play dates,” soon became a place where I have formed some of my deepest connections in Cincinnati. Through the MOPS group, I transitioned into other groups and circles within the church that have helped me to form deeper roots. Specifically, my faith has been deepened by my involvement in Wednesday night “family nights” and Lenten study groups. 

Not only has Good Shepherd helped me to connect with my peers, but it has also helped me to form a more personal connection with God and my family. Pastor Alex gave a sermon on Baptism a few years ago that specifically touched me. I grew up in a Christian home, but I don’t think I ever really understood the importance of Baptism, and how it should impact my whole life, my sense of SELF. As he spoke, I feverishly took notes, eventually molding his words into a Baptism celebration ritual with my children. It is my hope that when they remember their Baptism every year, that they will be reminded of how they BELONG in the family of God. That they have been claimed and accepted, no matter what. Because that connection is the best foundation for all other healthy relationships.

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