Great Plains Daily Devotional for 11/14/2019

Today please be in prayer for

Allen, NE UMC
Ponca First UMC
Elkhorn Valley District
Bartlett, NE UMC
Ericson UMC
Elkhorn Valley District
Bassett UMC
Springview UMC
Elkhorn Valley District
Bloomfield Christ Memorial UMC
Verdigre UMC
Elkhorn Valley District

Today's Lectionary Text

Sirach 17:1-22 

The Lord created a human being
out of earth,
    and he returned that human being
    into it again.
God gave human beings a set number
of days and a fixed time,
    and he gave them authority
    over the things that are upon the earth.
God endowed them with strength like his, and he made them according
to his image.
God made all living beings afraid of them, so that they might exercise dominion over the animals and birds.
God gave them the capacity to plan,
a tongue and eyes,
    ears and a mind for thinking.
God filled them with common sense,
    and he showed them
    good things and bad.
God put awe for him in their hearts,
    in order to show them the greatness
    of his works.
So that they might tell of the magnificence of his works,
    they will praise his holy name.
God placed knowledge before them,
    and he gave them a code for living.
God established an eternal covenant
with them,
    and he showed them his decrees.
They saw the majesty of his glory
with their own eyes,
    and they heard his glorious voice
    with their own ears.
God said to them,
“Beware of every injustice,”
    and he gave each of them commandments concerning
    their neighbor.

Their ways are always before him;
    they won’t be hidden from his sight.
God appointed a leader for each nation,
    and Israel is
    the Lord’s responsibility.
All of their deeds are before him
as plain as the sun,
    and his eyes are always on their ways.
Their wrongs are not hidden from him,
    and all their sins are exposed
    in the Lord’s presence.
A person’s acts of charity
are like a seal with him,
    and he will treasure a person’s generosity like the apple of his eye.

Today's Devotional

In the hurry of life and ministry, I attempt to take the time to watch the evening news. I want to know what is taking place in my community, nation and world, yet more often than I’d like, the news is filled with hatred, death, bullying – basically – injustice to humans.

As the recovery process continues in our conference from the flooding and tornadoes, I recently found myself in a neighborhood where some people will not go. I’m proud to say that our Great Plains ERTs and volunteers proudly entered into community with these individuals! Our ministry is based on having compassion for all people!

I have been in conversation with the local recovery leadership since March on what to do with the destruction in this one neighborhood. We looked into mitigation, yet to relocate 1,200 individuals in 300 homes, was not possible financially. We looked at beginning with one home and trying to slowly purchase new homes for these families, yet the reality of lack of funding and the length of time to do this became a dark reality. No, the homes these families live in are not the best, most should not be lived in, period. Every trip to meet with the recovery leadership seemed to dim our sights and reality to make a safe, secure and sanitary place for these families. There would need to be so much work! Yet, the desire remained – the call to live out the commandments God has given us concerning our neighbors continued to burn brightly in the souls of the leadership. At our meeting in October, after again going over the facts and the needs – we just decided to tackle it! We knew we could not fix all the destruction, yet we agreed to make the homes safe, secure and sanitary to the best of our ability.

What pushed us? It was this passage from Sirach (from the Apocrypha). God gave us the common sense to know right from wrong, He placed knowledge within each of us to know that every human being is a creation of God. Our souls were in tune with justice will reign! We remembered the greatest commandments of all: Love God and love your neighbor! And we chose to live that!
-Rev. Hollie Tapley
Great Plains Disaster Response Coordinator

Prayer for Reflection

Father of all creation, creator of every human being, re-create in our souls a desire to seek justice. Drive us to love all humans as you command us to. Help us to be people of action in transforming our communities, nation, and world for Jesus Christ. Amen.


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