Great Plains Daily Devotional for 7/31/2019

Today please be in prayer for

Topeka: Pleasant Hill UMC
Topeka District
Topeka: St Peter's UMC
Topeka District
Topeka: Susanna Wesley UMC
Topeka District
Washburn University Campus Ministry
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Matthew 5:43-48 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Today's Devotional

I’m not quite sure why, but ever since I first started hearing these verses, my mind goes to the school cafeteria.

Most of us have been there: the mystery meat, tater tots and Jello is piled onto your perfectly partitioned plate, you stop and survey the lunchroom. It would take a lot of guts to go sit down next to the students who bullied you, wouldn’t it? We stay and bask in the comfort of our own friends, never wanting to break out.

That kind of lunchtime spirit even carries into adulthood, as I’ve noticed at gatherings in the conference during my years here. I could sit for lunch break with the people from my department, the ones I see every day, and catch up on the couple of hours we’ve been apart.

Or I could get to know some of the people that I only know as an entry in the conference journal or a mugshot on our website. The latter method – admittedly, in the mix with a few co-workers – has led me to making some of the best new friends I’ve had in the Great Plains. We get to know each other, and we make a connection.

My newfound friends aren’t my former enemies, but we have a better understanding of each other.

Are we enemies because we don’t understand each other? Is our rift so wide that we couldn’t talk things out to find some common ground? We are all our Father’s children, and there are times we need to remind ourselves of that.

--David Burke
communications content specialist


Prayer for Reflection

Dear Father, give us the strength to break out of our comfort zones and let the enemy and the stranger into our circle. Amen.

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