Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/7/2018

Today please be in prayer for

Louisville, NE First UMC
Missouri River District
Omaha Maplewood UMC
Missouri River District
Mynard Liberty UMC
Missouri River District
Nebraska City First UMC
Missouri River District

Today's Lectionary Text

Luke 1:68-79 

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
    for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us
    in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
    that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
    and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
    to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness
    before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God,
    the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Today's Devotional

When I am afraid or unsure, I let my imagination run away to the very worst possibilities. I know that most of my imagined scenes won’t play out. But if I am prepared for the worst, then I can’t be surprised, and whatever happens has to be better than what could have been. I also know that preparing for the worst is not a hope-filled or faith-filled response. It takes me to a dark place, one that isn’t peaceful. Fear is a powerful force.

In my worship-leading days, I had all sorts of fears. What if the instrumentalists didn’t show up for worship? What if I lost my voice and couldn’t sing? What if no one in the congregation showed up? What if the screens failed and the congregation couldn’t participate in the prayers, readings and songs? Fear would say I couldn’t control things and therefore surely would fail. Leaning into the fears forced me to trust God and know that it would be ok, that God was using me and continues to use me.

Have you ever said no to God out of fear? What would it look like to serve God without fear? Without fear of failing? Without fear of sabotage? Without fear of judgement? What’s the worst that could happen? Perhaps, as Zechariah says, God’s deep compassion will come over you. Maybe you would give light and hope to someone sitting in the darkness of fear. Perhaps you could find the path of peace through Jesus. That sounds like a best-case scenario game.
-Heather Clinger

Prayer for Reflection

God, help me to lay aside my fears, that I might trust you and serve you. Use me and the gifts you have given me to bring your light to the darkness and your peace to the anxious. Amen.


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