Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on March 8, 2013.
Prayer: Spending some time in silent prayer with God this day, perhaps while looking up at the stars in the night sky.
Reading: Genesis 15 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: A beautiful summer night with no clouds in the sky reveals millions of stars in the sky. As I laid on the grass looking upward, I pondered the mysteries of the universe, who I am, and the wonders of God 's creation. Looking upward I saw the stars and the variety of light that they illuminated. Some were bright, others were dull, some you could barely see. But they all were part of the universe, part of the master creation plan, working together to form constellations no matter what their brightness.
Oh the peace that surrounds a quiet summer evening, laying out in a field, looking up at the stars. Gets you in quite a meditative mood. Made me realize something about my own life. Looking up at the stars I thought about all the people who I have met in my life. In some way, everyone I meet touches me. But each does so to a different degree. The brightest stars in the sky are like the people who mean the most to me in my life. They are the ones who have influenced who I am today. They are family members and close friends. Other stars, which are not so bright, are those people who I may consider just friends and acquaintances. And the really dull stars are just people I have met but who have only been part of my life, shall we say, in passing. Everyone has meant something in my life, but some have been brighter than others and have meant more to me.
Another night I was walking down a road in the darkness. I looked up into the sky and saw a hazy moon. It was almost full and had a bright ring around it. I thought to myself, "you know- God is like the moon. Sometimes we can see the moon and sometimes it is covered by clouds. But it is always there. Sometimes we purposely go out to see the moon in the sky, but most times we take it for granted. God is that way. Sometimes it is very obvious to us that He is with us. But sometimes He is covered by clouds and harder to see. Sometimes we go to Him and ask for help and guidance, but sometimes we take Him for granted. But no matter what, He is always there. He is our shepherd, the big leader, and if we look to Him for guidance, we will always receive it."
The stars in your life may need some help and you may be the person who can give them ideas or teach them something they didn't already know. Just as the brighter stars in your life have helped make a difference to you, so you can make a difference for them. I challenge you to go out and not be sheep of God, but instead be sheep dogs. Help the Lord lead those sheep in your life who may go astray. Give people a little nudge to do something they should be doing. Stand beside Jesus Christ and help Him by being a minister to others and letting your light so shine. Perhaps through your actions, you can spark some life and light into others to do the same thing. And remember, God will guide us. He is the good shepherd. By following Him, we have great hope for the future. He can help us through the good times, and the bad, and can help us with all our hard tasks. Sometimes, though, it takes something as simple as a moonlit sky to remind us of His power- and to remind us that some things should never be taken for granted. --Chad Hershberger
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