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

Student Daniel and I have been meaning to get together (safely) to play the game “Fog of Love” for months. It’s a beautifully-designed game about a couple who’ve just fallen in love and how their relationship weathers fun and difficulty. It’s also a game where the players need a level of trust to know that the characters you’re playing aren’t actually you. Daniel and I have known each other for five years now and have had a number of challenging and life-giving conversations, so we were ready! 

What we weren’t ready for was the weather the day we finally played. It was the first snowfall of the year and 32 degrees out. Because of the pandemic, we were playing on the front porch of the Edge House, so we bundled up in coats and hats and gloves and even blankets. The game went well (the couple we were playing ended up staying together at the end—hooray!) and Daniel was fascinated by the complexity of the rules and interaction. What struck me, though, was our perseverance. Even though I’m obsessed with board games, I wasn’t certain I wanted to sit on the porch in the cold for an hour-and-a-half to play. And, truth be told, 32 degrees is definitely too cold—manipulating the cards and other components was hard with chilly fingers! But we showed up for each other, we persisted in the cold and deepened our own, non-game relationship in the process.

It wasn’t just that we were committed to playing a board game even in frigid temperatures, it was the social aspect, the play that was meaningful. Learning a new game and chatting with each other over it fills us up like a pitcher of water. And playing, truly the adult version of what kids do, brings us to life. Children, I’m sure you already know, need play in their lives to develop healthily. Playing is really the work of childhood: they learn what activities they enjoy, how to do them well, what other people like and how to interact with them. And they learn to do things for the love of them, not to win or to “succeed” or even because they need to be done, simply for the joy of doing them. Adults need this experience just as much as children, though perhaps our sense of play looks different. Depending on what you like, things like playing the stock market, gardening, sex, cocktail-making, reading, learning an instrument, and yes board games and sports are forms of adult play. And we need them as much as we need security and love. Choosing to take time for play, whatever it looks like for you, is not a waste of time, it’s liberating and life-giving.

What is play to you? What holds you back from making time for play? How have you persevered this year and what has helped you do so? When has your faith been playful and when has it been tested?

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