Daily Devotions
 
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

by Carolyn Kercsmar

Lying flat on my back, the timber framed ceiling beams arching two stories above both awed and amused me. Intriguing finding in the multipurpose room in this enormous Baptist cathedral, the site of my first Lamaze class more than 3 decades ago. The instruction was to be still, relax entirely. I complied; the instructor deemed otherwise. Her hand on my calf, a frown on her face: “OH, way too tense! I said to relax.” And so began my realization that relaxing and being still is an edge that I have never learned to smooth. 

Psalm 46:10 "Be stil and know that I am God."

Alas, I am not merely scolded by a birthing coach, but in conflict with God! What counts as being still? Is prayer enough? Meditate daily, slow my breathing, resist taking on more work projects in order to be obedient to God? I tried and failed regularly. 

Fortunately for this tightly wound type A person, the psalm has an oft overlooked additional meaning and wartime context. It is not entirely an order to relax in quietude with God, but is God reminding warring people- his own and others- to stop. Stop fighting, and let God battle our enemies and pronounce judgment. 

Colossians 3:12-14 “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience… Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God”?

I abandoned fighting long ago and now focus on these verses, which allow me to not “be still” but rather called to action. Some examples that have become paramount for me: Curb consumerism (but not enthusiasm!) and support the poor and disadvantaged. Stand with our black, brown and native American siblings – all humans living in black and brown bodies.  Vote for representatives who support equity in education, health care, housing, job opportunities. Seek out and support minority-owned businesses. Practice living in the shoes of people of color, to understand the stings of micro-aggressions, implicit/explicit bias and then stop perpetuating these injuries. Such tasks are often not easy or quick, but are directed by Christ, by whom we are all claimed, loved, and charged to follow- and not always be still.

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