Great Plains Daily Devotional for 11/23/2019

Today please be in prayer for

Colby UMC
Hays District
Downs UMC
Hays District
Ellis, KS UMC
Palco: First UMC
Hays District
Phillipsburg UMC
Hays District

Today's Lectionary Text

Mark 12:28-34

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 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 don’t know that there is anyone I can think of that is more symbolic of both the lessons in this story than Fred Rogers.  A musician, teacher and ordained minister, this kind gentleman came into homes each day and told children that they were loved and deserved love.  With kindness and gentleness, he took on difficult issues and explained them to children in a way that wasn’t condescending or arrogant. 

I remember that he got down on my level and spoke directly to me. 

His legacy strikes me as incredibly powerful this week.  He once said, “Love isn’t a state of perfect caring.  It is an active noun like struggle.  To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”  

For me Fred Rogers and his land of make believe embody what God’s Kingdom on Earth can be. He taught us who the people were in our neighborhood (everyone) and I think taught many children of my generation how to see our neighbors, love our neighbors, and encouraged us to work out our differences with love and respect for each other. 

Much like Jesus, Fred Rogers set out to equip children for the world they would grow up in.  The church is where we go to get equipped for the world outside its walls. To me, it is the living embodiment of Fred's land of make believe, where we work out our struggles together so that we can go out into the world and help others.  
-Lisa Soukup
Communications Administrative Assistant

*Devotion previously published 11/4/2018

Prayer for Reflection

Dear Lord, the time we are living in seems so fractured and divided.  Help us to be your hands and feet in the world to show love for our neighbor and share your love with them. 


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