Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/11/2018

Today please be in prayer for

Papillion St Paul's UMC
Missouri River District
Omaha TRI Community UMC
Missouri River District
Omaha Union Memorial UMC
Missouri River District
Valley United Faith Community

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 126 

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we rejoiced.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
    like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
    reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
    carrying their sheaves.

Today's Devotional

I recently have been reading “Mornings with Bonhoeffer: 100 Reflections of the Christian Life” by Donald McKim. I’m enjoying reading the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and hearing McKim’s context where the readings came from in Bonhoeffer’s life. One particular reading connects with today’s psalm, Psalm 126. In this beautiful psalm of ascent, the visual imagery used paints a picture of the hope, peace, love and grace of God. The psalm writes of those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. It is not that God’s way is easy without hardship. Through the hardship, there is always hope. 
When Bonhoeffer was in prison during Christmas Eve 1943, he wrote to his niece and nephew about the emptiness of being separated from loved ones. He said he found that while it is possible to cope with the fact of separation, it is magnified when we anticipate the future with worry and anxiety. Then he advised “From first awakening until our return to sleep, we must commend and entrust the other person to God wholly and without reserve, and let our worries become prayer for the other persons.” (McKim, 189)
So, in this Advent season, we read this psalm of ascent in prayer to the people around us, proclaiming the hope and grace of God. We are a people who follow the Lord who have done great things. 

-Rev. Nicole Conard
Young Adult Leadership & Campus Ministry Coordinator
Congregational Excellence

Prayer for Reflection

O God, awaken us to see your way this Advent season. Help us to commend and entrust people to you without reserve. Thank you for your grace and love each day. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.



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