Great Plains Daily Devotional for 7/6/2019

Today please be in prayer for

Ralston Trinity UMC
Missouri River District
Ralston Trinity UMC
Missouri River District
Omaha Rockbrook UMC
Missouri River District
Fremont Calvary UMC
Hooper Faith UMC
Schuyler Christ UMC
Missouri River District

Today's Lectionary Text

Luke 9:1-6 

Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

Today's Devotional

In the 1950s, my dad hitchhiked from the family farm in North Dakota to college in Indiana. Along the way, he was looking for a new experience and wondered what it would be like to have to beg for a meal. He went into a local diner, ordered the meal and ate it. Afterward he approached the owner/cook and told the story that he did not have the money to pay for the meal, though he would be willing to do whatever work was available to pay off the debt. The man was more than gracious and did not allow Dad to do any work, packed him a sandwich and sent him on his way. After leaving, Dad decided that he needed to fess up about his experiment. He returned to the diner, told his real story and took out his wallet to pay for the food. The man would not accept the money and sent Dad on his way with a smile.

Jesus had a peculiar strategy in sending his disciples out on a mission. They were to go as beggars. I think he did so for at least two reasons: He wanted his followers to know the experience of destitution, not know about it but know it. Secondly, he was seeking households that were receptive to his kind of good news. If they took in a stranger experiencing abject poverty, they showed the kind of grace that Jesus saw as the Kingdom of God.

For us as followers of Jesus today, this story challenges not only to know what powerlessness feels like, but to continue to embody the grace that is the foundation of the Kingdom of God. How hospitable are we when the destitute knock on our door? Will we see them as emissaries of Christ or as another problem to solve?

-Rev. Doyle Burbank-Williams
 Lincoln New Visions UMC
dburbank@greatplainsumc.org
 
 

Prayer for Reflection

Make my heart and my home places of your overwhelming welcome, O Christ of the outcast and overlooked. Amen.

 

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