Great Plains Daily Devotional for 8/19/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Aurora UMC
Bradshaw UMC
Phillips UMC
Prairie Rivers District
Beaver Crossing UMC
Ebenezer, NE UMC
Utica, NE UMC
Prairie Rivers District
Bellwood UMC
David City St Luke's UMC
Prairie Rivers District
Bladen UMC
Blue Hill UMC
Prairie Rivers District

Today's Lectionary Text

Jeremiah 29:11-13

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart,

Today's Devotional

I’m one of those people that still carries around a personal planner.  You know the “old timey” kind.  Every year I order The United Methodist Calendar & Workbook: Personal Planner version. Sure, I have the latest I-Phone that has all the capabilities in the world to function as personal planner but it’s just not the same.  For several years now my personal planner has been an efficient tool to keep me organized.  Well, until this year. Throughout this pandemic my personal planner has been a constant reminder that my plans have changed. Actually, my plans have been in a perpetual state of change.  Large x’s can be found marked on cancelled events, activities, and meetings. 

Recently, we held our Confirmation Outdoor Worship Service.  We began the Confirmation process way back in September but because of the pandemic ended the process by meeting via ZOOM. It was weird and awkward especially when technology didn’t cooperate. However, through it all, I was impressed by the Confirmand’s commitment to the process.  It ended up being kind of fun and the Confirmands seemed to appreciate the opportunity to check-in once a week. 

It seemed only fitting, then, that I use the Scripture from Jeremiah for my sermon that day.  This prophetic letter by Jeremiah is written to the Israelites who are living in exile. Even in their captive state, God has promised a hopeful future.  I wondered out loud to the Confirmands and their families how hard that must have been to believe while in captivity. I added that the pandemic feels much like we are being held captive by a virus. It’s difficult to remain hopeful for the future when so many of our plans keep changing.  What plans, right? 

Yet, Jeremiah also reminds us when we call upon God and if we seek God with all our heart, we find hope for the future----especially in times when plans are in a perpetual state of change. 
-Rev. Gina Gile
Blair First UMC

Prayer for Reflection

O God, we give thanks for your sustaining and strengthening grace as we seek you in these times of perpetual changing plans.  Give us a heart to believe your promise of a hopeful future.  Amen.


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