Great Plains Daily Devotional for 6/14/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Louis Keeling
Iuka UMC
Sawyer UMC
Wichita West District
Jan McDaniel
Bentley UMC
Sedgwick UMC
Wichita West District
Ji Seok Ju
Valley Center: First UMC
Valley Center: First UMC
Wichita West District
Andy Hargrove
Wellington: First UMC
Wichita West District

Today's Lectionary Text

Genesis 18:1-15 and Psalm 100

The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.” Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?” The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “Oh yes, you did laugh.”

 

A Psalm of thanksgiving.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come into his presence with singing.

Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he that made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him, bless his name.

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

Today's Devotional

It keeps coming to mind -- laughter. But I feel guilty focusing on the laughter. What is happening in the world today is no laughing matter. However, in the Genesis story and in Psalm 100 laughter stands out. Sarah laughed, even if she was meaning, “Yeah, right!” she laughed. Making a joyful noise surely includes laughter. We cannot laugh now, though. All of the world around us is in a whirl of bad stuff -- pandemic, riots, protests, injustice, poverty, economic mess, hatred, meanness. No, we cannot engage in laughter.
 
Wait. Maybe we need to do so. Psalm 100 gives the directive to make a joyful noise, worship with gladness. It also notes that we are God’s people -- God’s sheep. God cries with us over pandemic, lack of righteousness, poverty, unkindness. God’s heart breaks. But our God is with us in it. Steadfast love from God is there forever. Is this not a cause to be filled with joy, a reason to laugh with delight?
 
As we realize in new ways God’s amazing and comforting presence through all that is happening, we can embrace laughter. We can be delighted that our shepherd -- God -- tends to us and is by our side. God really cares. So, let laughter lift our spirits. Allow it to happen. Then, let’s get back to reaching out, offering what is needed, listening well, and doing what we can. We can laugh and be joyful and then return refreshed and confident that God continues to strengthen us and walk with us.
-Rev. Dianne Tombaugh
Retired Deacon
Wichita, KS

dtombaugh@greatplainsumc.org

Prayer for Reflection

Beautiful Shepherd, we delight in you. You fill us with joy. Let that joy renew and empower each of us, your people, so that we might continue to serve in the world in the midst of chaos and uncertainty. Help us to fight injustice and to work to make evident your Presence and love for all. Amen.
 
 

 

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