Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/20/2019

Today please be in prayer for

Fall River UMC
New Albany UMC
Severy UMC
Parsons District
Fredonia: First UMC
Parsons District
Arma UMC
Frontenac UMC
Parsons District
Farlington UMC
Girard UMC
Parsons District

Today's Lectionary Text

1 Corinthians 12:1-12 

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

Today's Devotional

Each year for the past five years I have had what I consider to be a fairly unique opportunity. In the space of approximately three weeks (usually mid-January-early February), I attend the annual Orders & Fellowship meeting designed to provide continuing education, networking and fellowship for a diverse group of Great Plains clergy. 

I assist in leading the January Candidacy Summit (postponed this year thanks to the uncertain and potentially dangerous weather) where I work with a people who are discerning a call to licensed or ordained ministry. Finally, I coordinate the work of the Board of Ordained Ministry as an average of 35-40 people interview with the Board with a request for provisional membership/commissioning, associate membership or full membership/ordination during the annual “Interview Week.”     

These folks at any one of these events are older and younger. Male and female. Ordained, licensed and laity. We come from Nebraska/Kansas, from other states and from other countries. We speak various languages with varying levels of fluency. We have different gifts of ministry: some are better at preaching/worship leadership, some are better at administration, some are better at chaplaincy, some are better at weddings and some at funerals. Some have highly honed skills, gifts and passions for multiple areas of ministry; some are still learning and discerning their gifts for ministry.  Some have been Christians (and even United Methodist) since birth, others date their profession of faith to the last few years.

I look at the scripture passage for today and I give thanks for the variety of gifts I see in the clergy leadership of the Great Plains Conference.  This thankfulness also applies to the diversity of gifts among the Great Plains laity – but my work right now is focused on clergy excellence. It would be easy to be jealous of a brother or sister who I thought preached “better” than me, discipled “better” than me or engaged their faith “better” than me. Instead, this passage reminds me that we are one in the Lord. Our diversity is an amazing gift of God.

-Rev. Karen Jeffcoat
Registrar, Great Plains Board of Ordained Ministry


Prayer for Reflection

Remind me this day, O Lord, to celebrate the diversity of your world. Remind me that we are working together amazing, and sometimes baffling (in my eyes), ways. Help me give thanks for the gifts I have received, the gifts I share and the gifts that can only be shared by others. In your holy name, Amen.


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