Daily Devotions
 
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

by Sue Matz

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35.

When Dean and I joined Good Shepherd in 1980 two priorities drew us to this particular congregation, service and the opportunity to grow in our faith.  Over 40 years later these are still priorities, and we are still growing in our faith and finding ways to serve.  This winter I participated in two classes via Zoom. One class discussed the book Jesus and the Disinherited and the other discussed the book The Universal Christ.  Both books and the conversations were rich with thought provoking content that caused me to dig deep and consider whether I truly love and respect all people and the earth around me. Am I listening to what God inside me is saying? The best I can say is “I try but, no, I don’t all of the time”.   I am  judgmental of the guy who is always begging at the exit I take off I71 as I take a carload of supplies donated by generous folks to Taft Elementary or go to visit Naomi, a Taft student that I mentor.  God created everything out of love and Jesus’s main message to us is to love God and all. Am I loving this man by simply waving to him and smiling as I pass? 

Naomi is 11 and has asked me many thoughtful questions over the last couple of years but one that recently made me stop and think was “Miss Sue, do you know any Karens?”  I have several friends named Karen, but this is not what she meant.  She is a girl with dark brown skin and wanted to know if I know if I knew any white women who used their privilege to demand their own way.  My first reaction was thankfulness that she felt safe enough with me, a white woman, to have such a discussion.  Then I had to be honest.  Yes, not only do I know people who use their privilege or complain about an inconvenience without caring why something is a particular way, but also in my weaker moments I fit the description.  When I’m judging the man begging near the exit, I’m assuming things and not considering how difficult his life is or why he is there every day.  I’m not seeing him as an equal, seeing him through a lens of love. The Good Shepherd classes I’ve participated in this winter have helped me dig deeper, slow down and humbly and honestly listen to God inside me.  God leads me to see the world through a lens of love, and since I don’t always follow directions, it is comforting to know that God forgives my mistakes.  What is God inside you saying? 

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