Great Plains Daily Devotional for 10/29/2019

Today please be in prayer for

Seward UMC
Blue River District
Seward UMC
Blue River District
Syracuse, NE: First UMC
Unadilla UMC
Blue River District
Adams First UMC
Hopewell UMC
Tecumseh, NE First UMC
Blue River District

Today's Lectionary Text

Exodus 3:1-12

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.”

Today's Devotional

I am currently reading the book "Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership" by Ruth Haley Barton for the third time in a year.  I don’t normally re-read a book, but I read it first for the “For Your Life” retreat last fall, then for Course of Study leadership class I taught in July, and now I am reading it with a Community of Practice group.

Barton uses the story of Moses to talk about leadership and ministry.  In chapter 4 where she references this passage in Exodus, she writes: “Many of us are choosing to live lives that do not set us up to pay attention, to notice those places where God is at work and to ask ourselves what these things mean.  We long for a word from the Lord, but somehow we have been suckered into believing that the pace we keep is what leadership requires ... a way of life that offers little or no opportunity for paying attention and then wonder whey we are not hearing from God when we need God most.”

OUCH!  Does that hit home for you like it does for me? Too busy to pray, too busy to reflect on scripture, too busy to spend time with a friend who is hurting, too busy to go to worship, too busy to_______.   You can fill in the blank.  Maybe today is the day to notice the gentle nudging of God, to see where God is at work around you, and to wonder, to turn aside and notice as Moses turned aside to look at the burning bush.

— Rev. Nancy Lambert
director, Clergy Excellence

Prayer for Reflection

O God, slow me down today so that I may be aware of the way that you are trying to get my attention so that I may be useful to you in bringing your kingdom to this place and on this day.  Amen. (From Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, written by Ted Loder in "Guerrillas of Grace")


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