Daily Devotions
 
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

by Lena Schwarz

Ephesians 2:22;   In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Friendship and relationships come in all shapes, forms, depths, and durations. Some last a long time, others are just to treasure for a shorter period of your life. Nevertheless, I strongly believe it is through that gift of friendship and other relationships that we learn and become richer in who we are and what we mean to others.

After a few years of attending GSLC, our family decided we’d like to be engaged in different ways outside of just attending the Sunday services. One of the opportunities was an exchange ministry between GSLC and another Lutheran church in Germany. When time approached for some of the members of St. Johanniskirche from Malchin to visit, we were excited to be part of the group that would host our guests and show them around. This gave us not only a chance to get to know people we had never met before, but also to deepen relationships with other GSLC members. Quickly we all bonded, and in preparation and planning for the actual visit, we came to know each other so much more deeply. The friendships we made through this event had a lasting impact on us and we began to participate in other groups, committees, and church outreach ministries. 

By getting to know the guests from Germany, who were strangers to us before their visit, we received and generated longtime friendships. In a very inspiring way, we heard stories from several of the older members of St. Johanniskirche, who told their personal stories. It was astonishing to realize how much they had lived through in order to be able to go to church; the strength and risks of faith they displayed by remaining believers and church members as citizens of Eastern Germany during the cold war times. Since hosting the group, we have visited some of the members in Malchin when traveling to Germany, and many of us stay in touch via mail, email and social media. Despite the miles across the ocean, the friendships have strengthened and flourished. As we speak of an ecumenical church in the world, it has truly felt like a blessing to have had the chance to get to know other Christians and the opportunity to grow in faith together. 

When listening, sharing and exchanging stories, we grow, learn and thereby serve both ourselves and others. In a very simple action, it builds faith, hope and love.

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