Great Plains Daily Devotional for 7/4/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Bunker Hill UMC
Russell Otterbein UMC
Hays District
Russell Trinity UMC
Hays District
Sharon Springs UMC
Hays District
Agra UMC
Kirwin UMC
Smith Center UMC
Hays District

Today's Lectionary Text

2 Chronicles 7:14

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Today's Devotional

I almost rejected this verse as a possible starting place for this devotional. I have seen many Facebook posts calling for the people of this country to turn back to God, confess our sins, and submit ourselves to God’s will. Not bad advice – but most often it seems to come from folks whom I suspect mean that God’s will is their will and their will is 180 degrees opposite of my understanding of God’s will. (As if I know 100% what God’s will is!)

But I decided to reacquaint myself with the context of the verse. In 2 Chronicles, chapter 6, the people are gathered to consecrate Solomon’s great temple. Much of the chapter is taken up with the prayer of Solomon, in which he praises God and the covenant that binds Israel to God, recounts the history of how they had come to that moment and asks Gods to continue to walk with the Jewish people when they face adversity. Then, midway through chapter 7, the Lord appears to Solomon in the night and makes the promise that if the people who belong to the Lord will humbly pray, seek the Lord’s face, and turn away from evil, then they will be forgiven and their land will be healed.

There are no partisan politics. There is no “he said/she said” finger pointing over what constitutes evil. There is only the promise that if the people do three (not always so simple) things, then God will hear and act.

In the end maybe it doesn’t so much matter who it is that calls for prayer, confession, and submission to God’s will. What really matters is that we do turn to God and trust that God continues to keep that promise to hear and act – whether the result is what we expect, or not. And, when we hear God’s voice giving us direction, it matters that we respond.
On this Independence Day our country is troubled by a pandemic we don’t yet fully understand – and by a history of injustice that many of us do not want to understand because it means we may have to examine ideas we have long held as truth. If this is not the time, to seek God’s healing for our country – and indeed, the world – when will it be?
  --Rev. Robbie Fall, retired Elder
                                                                                                            Hutchinson, Kansas

Prayer for Reflection

Help us, O God, to put aside our personal ideologies and turn our concerns for ourselves, our nation, and our world over to you. Heal us, strengthen us, forgive us, and make us obedient to your voice. Amen.


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