Reclaiming Our Christ-Centered Lutheran Devotional Heritage
One of the key challenges, and what makes this so often a sensitive issue to discuss, is that we easily allow our devotional life to become just another burdensome “to do” item in an already crowded schedule. Seeing Word and prayer as primarily something we do for God places it squarely on the side of law. That easily leads to pride (when our devotional life seems strong) or guilt (when we feel like hypocrites, urging others to Word and prayer while our own devotional life languishes). Our Lutheran devotional heritage – forged in the life and ministry of Luther and nurtured ever since by many of our theologians – has as its ultimate beauty that it leads us to see our devotional life primarily through the lens of grace. Word and prayer are gifts in which God serves us!
This essay and resource package was shared with all WELS circuit pastors in January of 2013 for discussion at pastoral circuits around the synod. In 2011, a similar essay and resource package from Grow in Grace was used in 82% of circuits. It is hoped this package will find a similar broad use. This essay (and resource package) is available for download on the Grow in Grace web site.
Along with the essays, a workshop for called workers has also been developed. The workshop provides an interactive forum for called workers to encourage one another to see time in Word and prayer as the gift it is as God comes to serve us in living Word and answered prayer. In October of 2012, all the called workers of the South Atlantic District were the first to participate in this workshop. A similar presentation has been scheduled for the 2014 Nebraska District Convention. The workshop is available to be scheduled by other interested groups of called workers.
It is hoped in the near future to develop this workshop into a course that could be offered regularly both in face-to-face and online formats.