With the work being done in Haiti, Herb had to step back from writing devotions. Since no one wanted to take over his duties concerning the devotion writers’ group at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, San Antonio, TX, the project was put on hold.
Joe Noonan suggested to our pastor that a group of laymen be formed to write devotions to publish for our members to use during the Season of Advent. Our pastor responded with, “That is a good idea, why don’t you start such a group?” Thus the Devotion Writers Group started. Our first Advent devotion booklet was published in 1995. It barely made it to press in time for Advent. It contained some wonderful devotions, and some that were not so wonderful. As each year has passed, we have learned. We have not necessarily improved, but we have learned. We have obtained new writers, and we have lost other writers. We have found that some writers can be counted on to write one or two devotions each year. We have other writers who will write 10 or more. We have writers with ties to SHLC who live in Corpus Christi, the Houston suburbs, and even in both Dakotas.
We then started publishing Lenten devotion booklets. Then we started translating them in to Spanish. Each writer has an individual style. In the editing process we try to not lose that style, as we edit them for length and clarity. We try to keep the devotions to one-half of a legal sheet of paper, but sometimes they are too good to consider shortening.
As time permits, PDF files of devotions will be added to this website. Download the English Version of the 2011 Advent-Epiphany Devotion booklet.
Download the Spanish Version of the 2011 Advent-Epiphany Devotion booklet.
To give you an idea what the devotions are like, here is one that is in our Advent, 2011, booklet.
I WANT TO HUG A HOBO
Matthew 25:37-40 [Jesus said,] “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (NIV)
“I want to hug a hobo.” These were the shocking words my granddaughter used to see if there was anything which could get me to show some emotion. I disappointed her by simply inquiring, “Why?” “Because I never have, and I think it would be cool.” Over the next 15 to 20 miles as we drove through the Lower Sonoran Biotic Province, we discussed this ambition. On a number of occasions, she has volunteered in a soup kitchen with her parents and has met many homeless people, but it was always a “hands-off” kind of relationship. She indicated that her parents were not any more enthralled with the concept than I was.
A theme that was on the fringes of the conversation but was not expressed into words was “I love my fellow man – it’s people I cannot stand.” Or to express it another way, can we really show a person agape-type love from a distance? Jesus showed His love by coming down from Heaven to be born of Mary. He left His position of authority and His throne of glory to become a human man. He showed He loved His disciples by washing their feet. He set aside His power as God and endured hunger, pain, and humiliation. He showed His love for all of us by dying on the cross at Calvary. By His very personal sacrifice, He provided us an eternal home with Him in Heaven. My granddaughter reminded me that we should show God’s love to all of His children – to show the personal, hands-on, compassionate love that God in Christ showed to all of us. God helps us to love others with that kind of love.
Lord, help me to reach out to others and show my love for You in how I treat them. Amen.