Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/25/19

Today please be in prayer for

Stark UMC
Walnut UMC
Parsons District
Chaplain
Via Christi Hospital Pittsburg
Parsons District
District Administrative Assistant
Parsons District
Abilene Emmanuel UMC
Salina District

Today's Lectionary Text

Romans 12:1-8 

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

Today's Devotional

I have a love-hate relationship with my body. At times, I have appreciated the miracle it is and I am grateful for the gift of life it has given me. At other times, I wrestle with some of the embedded prejudices and perceptions our culture has around what the ideal body ought to look like. I rest on the assurance that God loves even me, unconditionally, perhaps especially because of my struggles and imperfections. This was made even clearer to me listening to our speakers at last week’s Orders & Fellowship.

Perhaps what it means not to be conformed to this world is to let go of the negative self-talk, the easy ability to point out the tiniest flaws at the expense of seeing the whole picture of our beautiful creation. Or, perhaps it means to let go of achieving the ideal image of our body at the expense of grace and compassion. As I have walked on my own journey to health, I learned to wrestle with what it was to say that I wanted to improve myself while also loving myself as I was. It is a process of sacred transformation and becoming who God has called me to be. The other piece I have learned is the importance of how I am connected with others.

Paul talks about having a body not just individually, but as a community. When we gather as a conference, I am always amazed at the beautiful diversity of people, all with their own experiences, passions, gifts and graces, all who have found a way to use them to better serve the world. As we prepare for the weeks ahead of the special General Conference, we do not know what the body of the United Methodist Church will look like. I fear that we will do as Paul warns against in other passages and one group might say to the other “we have no need of you.” I fear that we will allow our own wants and desires to reign, rather than saying, “God, thy will be done.” My hope is that we will recognize the gift that one another is to the body of Christ. We are all called to this sacred work, and all are needed to complete it. May we recognize that, and seek God first.
-Michelle Byerly
Bassett and Springview, Nebraska, UMCs

 

Prayer for Reflection

Holy God, thank you for the mystery of becoming incarnate, embodied, through your son, Jesus Christ. As we live into who we are as Christ’s living body now, may we honor it and be transformed to seek your will. Amen.
 

 

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