Home worship nurtures faith

Regular devotions are a powerful part of an active home-worship life. They can help nurture our faith and even that of our families, as they strengthen our relationship with Jesus, increase our trust in God and our openness to the call of his Spirit. We pray that you will receive blessings from the devotional materials here and in the Church@Home resources collection collated and shared on the special webpage at There are also other faith-building and practical resources available through this webpage. If you have internet access and a printer, why not print some and mail or deliver them to those who may otherwise miss out?


Proverbs 3:5 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.


These reflections are from a fresh set of devotions written for our LCANZ family and friends to help us to keep our eyes on Jesus. They can be used by families and individuals as part of the Church@Home resources. You can find these and more on the LCA website at

Righto, I’m ready by Darren Pope

‘The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking’ (John 13:22).

Read John 13:21–32.

To get ready, I checked that my swimming goggles fitted well and packed my phone and wallet safely away. This was no ordinary moment of plopping into the pool during a summer scorcher. No, this was the middle of a mild Queensland winter, and I was gearing up to endure my half-hour on the sponge-throw stall at our annual school carnival. So, just to be really frank here, I never enjoyed this – ever!

Stoically, I poked my head through the hole in the wooden target board, smiled and called out, ‘Righto, I’m ready’. Blam! Within a heartbeat, a sodden, tepid car sponge slammed into my face, accompanied by the giggling of the person who had flung it.

It seems that I was, indeed, not ready at all. In fact, each time that I faced up, watched the next combatant pluck their dripping sponge from the bucket and anticipated it hurtling toward me, I could not prepare myself for the impact. Not even once. It shocked me every time.

After a couple of direct hits, I was ready to shy away, flinch or quit.

Jesus was hanging out with the disciples when they wanted to know the answer to a tricky question. They thought they knew each other pretty well and that they were ready for the answer, but ‘blam!’ Jesus’ response hit them in the face with cold, hard facts.

Again, we see Jesus remind us that we are held accountable by the law, facts and the truth. But we are also set free because of the work God constantly does to glorify Christ who comes to us daily in love and grace. That means whatever challenges and curve balls life throws at me, God is with me, and I don’t need to shy away, flinch or quit.

Righto, I’m ready!

Loving Lord, you are awesome! Thank you for the confidence that you are with me today. I am sorry that I doubt or forget about your complete love sometimes. I know you will help me in the challenges of the day ahead. Thank you. Amen.

Grief and weeping by Mick Hauser

‘The Lord has heard the sound of my weeping’ (Psalm 6:8).

Read Psalm 6.

Grief is usually accompanied by weeping, but I am sure many people would confess to hiding their tears and stifling their sobbing. We do not like to let people see or hear that we are hurting or in the agony of grief. In grief, we feel vulnerable and naked, often accompanied by feelings of shame. We compound our grief in the private, dark prison cells of our lives. We keep it pent up and unresolved, and we feel hopeless in our grief.

But perhaps you also know that sometimes we just need a good cry. God has created us in such a way that crying actually makes us feel better. Crying releases oxytocin and endogenous opioids (endorphins). These feel-good chemicals help ease both physical and emotional pain. What a gift this is for us. Our tears, like the waters of baptism, provide a salve to ease blinding pain. They make space for hope to emerge so that we might meditate on and call upon the one who has steadfast love for us, Jesus Christ.

In Psalm 6, the songwriter reflects on a long period of private grief, ‘every night I flood my bed with tears’ (verse 6). Three things are ‘turned’ within the poem. Firstly, the psalmist asks the Lord to turn and save his life for the sake of his steadfast love (verse 4). Secondly, the psalmist turns from his moaning. He confidently proclaims that the Lord has heard the sound of his weeping and commands workers of evil to depart from him (verse 8). Lastly, the psalmist displays a prophetic hope that because the Lord has taken to hand his prayer, his enemies will turn back and they will be put to shame (verse 10).

Prayer: Pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will help you to grieve without shame. Pray he will take to hand your prayers, your groaning in grief, the whimpers of your weeping, and the mumblings of your moaning. Pray he will help you through the waters that flow over you, by your tears and in your baptism, to meditate on his steadfast love for you. Pray that he will grant you the hope and confidence to command your foes to depart in the power of his holy name, that your grief may dissipate in the light of his love.


For those not able to attend church services, there are several ways to watch, listen and engage with Lutheran worship from home. Churches across Australia and New Zealand began live streaming or recording services to be accessed via the internet during COVID lockdowns last year. Some have continued this practice even after the resumption of face-to-face worship and lifting of restrictions. Details of some streamed services are at under the View@Home tab.

In Melbourne, St Paul’s Box Hill records services for broadcast on Channel 44 (Community TV Channel 31 broadcasting on Channel 44) every Friday from 1 to 2pm.

As well as supporting weekly live-streamed services from St Michael’s Lutheran Church Hahndorf, in South Australia and from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Toowoomba, in Queensland, Lutheran Media offers free worship DVDs and CDs. Order them at or by calling 1800 353 350.

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Makeover by Georgie Schuster

‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh’ (Ezekiel 36:26).

Read Ezekiel 36:24–28.

We all get to weather storms in life. And they tend to leave marks in one way or another. So how do we protect or try to insulate ourselves from getting hurt? One way is to ‘toughen up’. Sometimes we start putting up barriers around our vulnerability. We separate emotionally from others, which forms a wall. Then, often before we realise it, our hearts have hardened.

We can find that the wall of protection has become our prison. We may be safe from potential threats, but something significant is missing. Loneliness creeps in, and the desire for authentic connection with others seems out of reach.

God didn’t design us to have hearts of stone. He created us to have hearts of flesh.

In the Bible reading, God is breathing life and hope back into his people.

His promises include:

  • gathering them to himself
  • cleansing them from past mistakes
  • swapping out their hard hearts with hearts of flesh
  • filling them with his Spirit
  • repairing their relationship with him
  • giving them a fresh start.

These promises are for us, too. Jesus paid the price for our restored relationship with God at Easter. We can receive healing in Jesus’ name. Our new hearts can receive and give love. We are empowered as we are filled with the Holy Spirit. This makeover is more than skin deep. It’s life-changing!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for renewed hope. Thank you for taking our hearts of stone and giving us hearts of flesh and then pouring your love into them. Thank you for new life and new possibilities! In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

God is good by Dianne Eckermann

‘Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: for his steadfast love endures forever!’ (Psalm 118:1)

Read Psalm 118:1,2,19–29.

These words have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I recall sitting around my grandparents’ kitchen table after meals (apple crumble was a favourite dessert). Before my grandfather would push his chair back, roll a cigarette and begin recounting the stories of his day, we would always give thanks. It’s not surprising I always associate this verse with a feeling of great comfort and thanksgiving: good food, the love of family and a special-occasion visit to my grandparents’ house.

This psalm begins and ends with the same words of thankfulness for God’s love and goodness. It is not the only psalm that includes these words, so we hear repeatedly that God is good and his love endures forever. Repetition of this message really emphasises its importance. So, we can confidently thank God for his amazing goodness towards all people.

We can also confidently offer thanks to God because his love endures forever. His love for his creation has always been in existence; it exists right now and will continue always. God’s love is so great that he sent Jesus to save each one of us. Jesus knowingly gave his life for us for the same reason.

Jesus refers to Psalm 118 in Matthew 21:42. He speaks of the stone that the builders rejected, the cornerstone. He knows that the great welcome he has received into Jerusalem will not last and that he will be rejected. But such is his great love for us that he will undergo a harsh and brutal death to save us. Unlike the fickle crowd who welcomed Jesus before turning on him, God’s love remains a constant in our lives. And for that, we can offer him great thanks.

Heavenly Father, we can never thank you enough for your unchanging love or the great sacrifice of Jesus, your son. Please help us to appreciate this great sacrifice and truly understand the depths of your goodness. Amen.

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