Lutheran Congregational Services’ Advent Devotional book is filled with stories and reflections from volunteers based on the biblical texts of the Advent season. We asked a few to share their experience.
Every few years, I‘m asked to write a page for the Advent Devotional for Lutheran Congregational Services. I participate as a way to support all that LCS does to help Lutheran congregations in our area and to support people dealing with grief or the devastating effects of natural disasters.
Yet, I find this task somewhat stressful and difficult. For days, I think about how I can weave my experiences or stories into the assigned verses and theme, and I worry that I don’t have anything particularly interesting to say. Eventually, the Holy Spirit pushes me and the words begin to flow. The prayer at the end brings extra meaning to it – and me.
Why do I do this if I find it difficult? I do it because it makes me feel like part of something bigger – a community of believers – a great cloud of witnesses – sharing our stories of how the Christ child enters our lives during Advent. As we prepare for God becoming one of us, I hope others gain that same sense of community from these devotions.
-Pastor Paulette Obrecht, Volunteer for disaster response and Member of the LCS Advisory Board
Having grown up in the church, my faith has always played an integral role in my life. What a blessing it was to not only join such a wonderful organization as Liberty Lutheran, but also to be asked to contribute to the Advent Devotional. While I have always been heavily involved in my home church, Liberty is my first experience working for a faith-based organization, which I value tremendously.
The main tenets of the Advent season – hope, love, joy, and peace – are also cornerstones of my own faith, all of which I desire to share with readers through my writings. While the world around us can often be disheartening and discouraging, I have found that reflecting on daily devotions, dating back to my early teens, has helped me find refuge in my faith and hope in God. To be able to share that faith journey with others is a special privilege.
-Brandon Frank, Manager of Financial Reporting, Liberty Lutheran
Writing a devotion for the Advent Devotional book was something that was out of my comfort zone. My faith tends to be more personal. This was an opportunity to be more public about my faith. God calls us to share his love and teachings, so this was my perfect chance to do just that and stretch my faith in a different direction. Writing the devotional also gave me a chance to really study a particular verse to share my thoughts…a double win! My hope is that when people read these devotions that they hear something that relates to them in their everyday life; that something speaks to them. That is what the Bible and faith is all about – guiding us in our daily lives, to love and serve God, and those around us.
-Linda Graeff, Artman Volunteer and Member of the Artman Golf Committee