Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/31/2018

Today please be in prayer for

Bertrand First UMC
Elwood, NE First UMC
Gateway District
Eustis UMC
Farnam UMC
Gateway District
Franklin First UMC
Macon UMC
Gateway District
Gibbon Faith UMC
Gateway District

Today's Lectionary Text

Luke 2:41-52 

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

Today's Devotional

There is a lot to interpret from this passage, but I read it from two perspectives: one as a glimpse into the early development of Jesus and the other from Joseph and Mary.

From a spiritual growth perspective, I find it fascinating that while Jesus was just a boy, not even a teenager yet, he was entrenched in learning, asking questions, and experiencing the Father. Jesus was developing his leadership and began to understand his unique identity and mission. Jesus increased in his wisdom and people begin to take notice. He knew to whom his greatest obligation was.

As a parent though, I can relate and found myself getting caught up in the emotions of Joseph and Mary. Recently becoming a first-time parent, I can relate to Joseph and Mary’s anxiety. The anxiety of not knowing where a loved-one is and whether they are safe or not left them feeling helpless.

This leads to me to a question on perspectives especially as we prepare for a new year. The challenge of finding a balance between being fully in the presence of the Father and being obedient in earthly responsibilities. As Christians, we understand the precedence and know the answer to whom is our greatest obligation, but how do we balance this in each of our lives?

-Shane Warta
Lay Leadership Coordinator

Prayer for Reflection

I pray that as we grow that You would keep our hearts and minds turned to You and trusting in Jesus. Protect each one of us from the philosophies and mindset of the world that are so contrary to the truth of Scripture. May we grow in grace and become strong in faith as we develop in your wisdom and discernment for our lives.
 

 

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