Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/29/2018

Today please be in prayer for

Bill Williams
Anselmo UMC
Arnold, NE UMC
Merna UMC
Gateway District
Arun Peters
Banner UMC
Brady UMC
Gateway District
Matt E. Fowler
Broken Bow UMC
Gateway District
Dennis Davenport
Burwell UMC
Taylor Calvary UMC
Gateway District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 147:12-20 

Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
    Praise your God, O Zion!
For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
    he blesses your children within you.
He grants peace within your borders;
    he fills you with the finest of wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth;
    his word runs swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;
    he scatters frost like ashes.
He hurls down hail like crumbs—
    who can stand before his cold?
He sends out his word, and melts them;
    he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,
    his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
    they do not know his ordinances.
Praise the Lord!

Today's Devotional

On the fifth day of Christmas....
December 29th is the fifth day of Christmas but these verses from Psalm 127 have nothing in them about golden rings. Instead, this passage begins and ends with words of praise of God. In between the words of praise are specific reasons or example of what the Lord does or has done that is so praise worthy. The list includes blessing children, granting peace, control of the weather, and giving the Law to Israel. As the note for this Psalm in The New Oxford Annotated Bible indicates, this is a “hymn praising God for his universal power and providential care.” 
As we are in the midst of the Christmas season celebrating the incarnation of God in the Christ-child, I find this a particularly appropriate psalm for the season. I also find myself considering what Christmas related reasons for praise that I might add (if I was bold enough to add my own words to a Psalm).
I’m certain I’d include something about the joy and excitement, the promise and hope we experience as we welcome God incarnate in Jesus Christ. I’d also want to include a word of surprise and awe that God chose to enter the world not through a palace or people of privilege but instead through Mary and Joseph.
What would you add if you had the opportunity? Praise the Lord! Praise your God!
-Rev. Karen Jeffcoat
Registrar, Board of Ordained Ministry

Prayer for Reflection

On this fifth day of Christmas, I praise you, O God. I praise you for the great mystery, hope and promise of your incarnation. I praise you for the faith community that continues to celebrate the surprise of Christmas. I praise you now and forever. Amen and amen.


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