Great Plains Daily Devotional for 5/20/19

Today please be in prayer for

Pastor of Students and Young Adults
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
Congregational Care Pastor
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
Congregational Care Pastor
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
High School pastor
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District

Today's Lectionary Text

Mark 12:29-34 

Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.

Today's Devotional

I received the book The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery as a young girl. It’s a lesser known standalone novel not related to the Anne of Green Gables series.  The heroine of the story receives a misdiagnosis that allows her to put her fears aside and come out of existing into true living.  A quote from this book has stuck with me through the years (and many abused copies). 

“Fear is the original sin.  Almost all the evil in the world has its origin in the fact that someone is afraid of something.”

We can see throughout history the fear of the other.  Other people, other ideas, other points of views and how that fear has led to the unimaginable atrocities in war, famine and hate.  In the scripture I wonder if the key lies in the verse about loving your neighbor as yourself.

We are flooded by sounds and visuals in today’s world telling us who we should be, what we should look like and showing us how inadequate we are unless we can be perfect by buying this, or looking like that.  We strive to put perfection on display through Facebook posts, photo filters and Instagram stories.

How can we love our neighbor if we don’t love ourselves? We give into fear.  Fear of not being accepted or not being good enough. As Christians we use scripture to magnify the faults in ourselves as well as others. 

What would happen if we could give up that fear and live into the love our savior and our God so freely give? Better yet, what if we can accept that love in our hearts and extend it out to others?  What if we could overcome what we fear not only in others but in ourselves? 

A world like that would truly be the Kingdom of God on Earth.

-Lisa Soukup
communications administrative assistant


Prayer for Reflection

Heavenly Father, help us to feel your love for us and teach us to extend to all around us even those with whom we disagree. Help us to recognize that those who are not like us, are also your children in need of your love as great as ours. 


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