Great Plains Daily Devotional for 7/22/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Andy Frazier
Bonner Springs UMC
Bonner Springs UMC
Kansas City District
Michael Brown
Bucyrus UMC
Spring Hill UMC
Kansas City District
Jeff Prothro
DeSoto UMC
Kansas City District
Debbie Hull
Fairway: Old Mission UMC
Kansas City District

Today's Lectionary Text

Matthew 12:15-21

When Jesus became aware of this, he departed. Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them, and he ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

“Here is my servant, whom I have chosen,
    my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
    and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not wrangle or cry aloud,
    nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
He will not break a bruised reed
    or quench a smoldering wick
until he brings justice to victory.
    And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

Today's Devotional

My focus is drawn so much to verse 16 of today’s reading, “and he ordered them not to make him known.” Jesus gave them clear instructions to not make him known, this being right after we are told that many crowds were following and he cured ALL of them. ALL OF THEM?! That’s a lot of curing, because I can imagine the crowds were quite large. So, what would that look like for us, for Christians today? What would it mean for us to the work of God’s Kingdom here on earth, without recognition, without us being the ones known to do the work?

Christ’s teachings only continue on through the great work that is done by disciples throughout history. So many of them are never known, and that seems to be the point. If we do our job, Christ is known, but we fade into the distance of time. For some this is easy, for others, the recognition of work well done, is important. But I wonder if spreading the message of Christ without any thought to recognition or results would dramatically change our impact in our communities? I’m a numbers guy to a fault, but there seems to be something lost when we are focused on the end result instead of being the messengers in the moment. If we can focus on the relationship, on the immediate, on the locality we find ourselves, then we might just be able to cure all these crowds like Jesus did.

-Rev. Zach Anderson
Goodland First UMC

zanderson@greatplainsumc.org

Prayer for Reflection

Gracious and Loving God, help us to be focused on the calling you have given us. Help us to be conduits of your Holy Spirit, focused on what is in front of us, and not what may be the result. In Christ’s name, Amen.

 

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