Great Plains Daily Devotional for 4/26/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Mildred UMC
Five Rivers District
Bronson UMC
Moran UMC
Five Rivers District
Blue Mound UMC
Mound City UMC
Saint Paul School of Theology
Five Rivers District
Lane UMC
Osawatomie: First UMC
Five Rivers District

Today's Lectionary Text

Luke 24:13-16, 28-32

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?”

Today's Devotional

I heard the familiar “ding” as I entered the Zoom chat with my spiritual director. She greeted me warmly, and we began our conversation. “Is there anything in particular you want to talk about today?” To be honest, I hadn’t really done any of the prep work I needed to do to fully engage in that session, but I decided to speak aloud the first thing that conjured up in my mind and heart.

My brother Brandon died from a drug overdose less than a year ago, and I’ve learned that the stages of grief  are so very not linear. Earlier that week, I’d had a distressing dream that felt so real I couldn’t shake it.

I shared the dream in detail with my spiritual director. She sat in pregnant silence for awhile, leaving space for my tears and uncertainty, just like Jesus had done on the road to Emmaus as he held space for the disciples’ grief.

Then she asked the question I’d been longing to hear deep within my soul. “Is there anything that you need forgiveness for?”

That was it. The veil lifted, and my heart was strangely warmed. I’d been struggling with regret over our last conversation and all the times I felt like I could have helped him more. I had been thinking that perhaps Brandon would still be alive today if I’d done more. I confessed. And I received the forgiveness I didn’t even realize I needed.

My spiritual direction session felt a lot like I suspect the disciples on the road to Emmaus felt when they realized they’d been in the presence of the resurrected Christ. It was an apocalyptic moment, revealing mystery and grace in such mundane and unexpected places and people. For the disciples, it was a meal. For me, it was a Zoom call. What about for you?
-Rev. Melissa Gepford
Intergenerational Discipleship Coordinator

Prayer for Reflection

Christ, you are risen indeed! May our hearts continue to burn as we encounter you in all people and experiences around us. Amen.

-Devotion inspired by Catch Fire in 50 Days: Joining the Movement of God’s Mission in the World by Blake Busick and Christie Latona, devotional from Jerry D. Smith 


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