In Pastor Jeff's Blog

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5

We have an Amazon Alexa in our bathroom. I was recently running late for a meeting and while I was in the shower I wondered just how late I was, so I said, “Alexa, what time is it?” Usually Alexa is wonderfully responsive and helpful. But she was silent. So I asked again, this time a little louder, “Alexa, what time is it?” Again, silence. I peeked out of the shower and saw that my wife, Nancy, had unplugged Alexa in order to plug something else in.

Amused, I actually said out loud, “Alexa, you’re not much good when you’re not plugged in.” And as soon as the words were out of my mouth I heard a voice deep inside me say, “And neither are you!” I’ll assume that voice was the Holy Spirit because it spoke the truth.

When I’m not regularly plugged into Jesus through daily time in Scripture and weekly worship I find that I’m not firing on all cylinders. I become reactive, rather than responsive. I forget who I am (a child of God) and begin acting like someone who needs to earn their worth and impress others. I fall prey to fear and anxiety because I focus on the size of my challenges rather than the size of the God I worship. I hold grudges because I fail to give my woundedness to the Great Healer.

When I got out of the shower I plugged Alexa back in and realized that I was later than I thought. But I also said a little prayer and was reminded that my worth doesn’t depend upon my promptness, because I’m a child of God.

Want to get plugged in through a daily devotional habit? Try one of these resources:

Our Daily Bread (www.odb.org)

The Upper Room (https://www.upperroom.org/devotionals)

God Pause from Luther Seminary (https://www.luthersem.edu/godpause/)

Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation (https://cac.org/category/daily-meditations/)

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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