Great Plains Daily Devotional for 4/12/19

Today please be in prayer for

Mayfield Federated Church
Wichita West District
Medicine Lodge UMC
Wichita West District
Milton UMC
Wichita West District
Haven UMC
Mount Hope UMC
Wichita West District

Today's Lectionary Text

Isaiah 54:9-10 

This is like the days of Noah to me:
    Just as I swore that the waters of Noah
    would never again go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
    and will not rebuke you.
For the mountains may depart
    and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
    and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Today's Devotional

Eighteen years ago, April 13 was Good Friday. I know this because my oldest child was due on that day. As a young pastor and first-time mother, I had made the decision that my last day of worship leadership would be Palm Sunday – I was not running the risk that labor might start while leading one of the Easter worship services! As it turns out, she decided to enter the world (with a little help) on Easter Monday, April 16. The other irony (besides a clergy couple having a child due at Easter, is that I’m the daughter and sister to tax CPAs and she was born on Tax Day 2001!).
Why do I share this when it seems to have nothing to do with the scripture that is printed above? Nor does it seem to be a match to where we are in the Christian year. We are about to enter Holy Week, a time of deepest reflection and wildly swinging moods. We start with the joy of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem (and get upset at those who challenge him) on Palm Sunday. We move to the distress and promise that are both part of the Last Supper on Maundy (Holy) Thursday. We proceed to Jesus’ trial and ultimate death on the cross that is the seemingly oxymoronically name Good Friday before finally spending Holy Saturday in a state of stunned disbelief, terror and uncertainty. Even though we already know what happens, we find ourselves reliving these experiences with the first disciples who had no idea, beyond a few words of comfort Jesus offered at various times in his ministry, what would happen next.
With all of this in mind, I finally want to refer you to the two verses that are part of the daily lectionary for today. These two verses are part of a larger song in the book of Isaiah that proclaims the eternal covenant of peace. The song includes several different reassurances when and how with us. These verses are a reminder to us, from God, that God will hold fast to the promise God made in the time of Noah to never forsake us, to not rebuke us, to steadfastly and faithfully love us.
Both the remembrance of my preparation for and my becoming a mother along with my anticipation of Holy Week remind me that I need an ongoing reassurance of God’s steadfast and abiding love. It is a love that will outlast the mountains. It comes from a covenant of peace. God has compassion on (NRSV) and pity for (CEB) me. The same is true for you. No matter what you are facing in life or in faith, God’s love abides.
-Rev. Karen Jeffcoat
Great Plains Registrar

Prayer for Reflection

I hear your words of reassurance and abiding love, O God. Help me to receive the gift of your love. Help me be steadfast in my faith and to pour out the overabundance of that love in transformation of my life and my world. Amen.


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