Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/24/2018

Today please be in prayer for

Topeka: Lowman UMC
Topeka District
Topeka: New Hope UMC
Topeka District
Topeka: Pleasant Hill UMC
Topeka District
Topeka: St Peter's UMC
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Isaiah 9:2-7 

The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
    on them light has shined.
You have multiplied the nation,
    you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
    as with joy at the harvest,
    as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden,
    and the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor,
    you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For all the boots of the tramping warriors
    and all the garments rolled in blood
    shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
For a child has been born for us,
    a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
    and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually,
    and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
    He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Today's Devotional

The words of the prophet Isaiah remind us today to be filled with hope and joy for what will be. It is easy for us to get bogged down by the way the world is around us, especially since newscasts focus more on the violence and brokenness in our world than on the places of goodness and love. Chapter 9 depicts images of walking in the light (think of the brightest, most intense sunshine!), joy being increased, reduction of burdens, and the end to discord and war.

How is this redemption of the land and people to come about? By the birth of a child who will “establish and uphold [his kingdom] with justice and righteousness ...” I don’t know about you, but I think it is safe to say that this kingdom was going to be many years down the road as a child is pretty powerless. Isaiah isn’t promising that things will change immediately, but that change can occur in very unexpected ways. Who would expect a child to be able to change the world?

But the words we use and ideas we fixate on matter. Years ago, I was told that I was too hopeful, but I would rather fill my thoughts with hopeful and hope-filled words and images than words of despair and images of chaos. It is when I believe deep within me that the world truly can be different that I can begin to live into that difference each day and even be willing to be part of the transformation.

May these words of Ann Weems be your prayer of hope, justice, peace and love as you wait for what is yet to come.

Christmas comes every time we see God in other persons.
The human and the holy meet in Bethlehem or in Times Square,
for Christmas comes like a golden storm on its way to Jerusalem – determidly, inevitably…
Even now it comes in the face of hatred and warring –
No atrocity too terrible to stop it,
               No Herod strong enough, no hurt deep enough,
               No curse shocking enough, no disaster shattering enough ---
                              For someone on earth will see the star, someone will hear the angel voices,
                              Someone will run to Bethlehem, someone will know peace and goodwill:
The Christ will be born! (fromReaching for Rainbows” by Ann Weems)

Hallelujah and Amen.

-Rev. Nancy Lambert
Director of Clergy Excellence/Assistant to the Bishop


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