Devotionals
 

Devotionals are short essays written by GSLC members and staff that explore the ways the Holy Spirit works within our every day lives.  There are several ways we invite you to use these devotionals:

  • Make them a part of a prayer practice - read a devotion and consider the ways that Christ has worked similarly in your life or works in unexpected ways.
  • Make them a part of a journaling practice - read a devotion and journal about what the Holy Spirit is stirring in you as you reflect on the essay.
  • Use them as a reminder that God works in all things, the bad and the good.

With over 400 available devotions, you can use these daily, weekly, or monthly.  It's up to you!  We just hope that by reading these inspiring stories provided by Good Shepherd's flock you are able to better see where Jesus is present in all things!  Thank you to all of our members that have provided devotionals throughout the past couple of years!

 
Daily Devotion
Pastor Pat Badkey

Daily Devotion

The Summer Day  by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

On this final day of these devotions, I wanted to share my favorite Mary Oliver poem.  What do you think of it?  I discovered it while on sabbatical in 2015, and I sat with it at that time as I pondered the ministry I felt called to do by God’s spirit.   I loved the ending of the poem where she asks, “Tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  It is a big question, isn’t it?  How would you answer?  Can you hear God, our creator, calling to you?

But there is also the part of the poem which simply rejoices in the gift of creation and revels in its beauty.  It reminds of me Psalm 8 where the psalmist writes, “O LORD, how majestic is your name in all the earth . . . When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you established . . .”   It is as if the Mary Oliver and psalmist cannot help themselves and must praise God’s earth and sky, God’s plants and animals, all things, which make up creation.  I often revel in the beauty of creation as I walk in my neighborhood (there is beautiful, old oak tree whose trunk is covered in multi-shades of green lichen) or through a park or as I tend to my patch of coneflowers that the pollinators, butterflies and the birds love.  Perhaps one of the best things we can do with our one wild and precious life is to give thanks to God for the creation and our lives and serve God all our days.

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? 

What part of God’s creation do you revel in?

 

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