Great Plains Daily Devotional for 2/15/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Michelle Testman
Ozawkie UMC
Topeka District
Paul Mitchell
Rossville UMC
Topeka District
Douglas Hasty
Sabetha: First UMC
Topeka District
Barb Clinger
Shawnee Heights UMC
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 1 

Happy are those
    who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
    or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees
    planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
    and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.

The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked will perish.

Today's Devotional

“Mama, is there a bad guy in this movie? What will happen to him in the end? Will he go away? Will he learn to be nice?”

 Around our house, Saturday mornings often involve a pajama-clad screening of a classic Disney film. Our 4 year-old daughter loves the music, the magic and the brave heroines … but the moment a villain appears onscreen and begins to wreak havoc, she will inevitably launch into the line of questioning above. She is desperate for the assurance which the Psalmist gives us today — that the “good guys” will prevail, and that all will be set right in the end.

Fortunately for my tender-hearted girl, Disney movies always fulfill the promises of Psalm 1 well before the credits roll. The wicked perish and the good are protected, and everyone lives happily ever after. It’s beautiful and it’s easy; it’s the way things should be … and honestly, I find myself dreading the day when my daughter discovers that real life doesn’t always play by the Disney rules. When she discovers that sometimes the bad guys seem to win, and when she learns that peace and justice are not always delivered on our desired timeline.

When that day comes, maybe I’ll sit down and read Psalm 1 with her. I’ll assure her that even though the world can be messy and scary and uncertain, we have been called to follow in the Way that leads to life. I’ll remind her that hope and comfort can be found in the arms of God; that we won’t wither in despair if we plant ourselves deep in God’s goodness. And I’ll share with her the promise that all of us yearn to hear — that even when it looks like the bad guys are winning, and even when justice seems far away, the story isn’t over. I’ll tell my beautiful girl that when the world looks bleak and hopeless, that’s when we need to remember that the credits haven’t rolled yet. Evil will not triumph in the end, the moral arc of the universe will keep bending toward justice, and God’s Kingdom will continue to be built on earth as it is in heaven. (And that’s a happy ending worth singing about!)

--Rev. Emily Spearman Cannon
Auburn First UMC* 
Auburn, Nebraska

Prayer for Reflection

Watchful God, you cause the ways of the wicked to crumble and the fruits of injustice to wither on the vine. When we struggle to find hope, remind us that the story isn’t over, and that your will will be done. Amen.

* Editor's note: This devotional originally appeared Feb. 15, 2019; Rev. Emily Spearman Cannon is now pastor of McPherson First UMC in Kansas.

 

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