Great Plains Daily Devotional for 9/24/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Kevin Rea
Hiawatha: Trinity UMC
Highland UMC-Presbyterian
Powhattan UMC
Topeka District
Hector Sanchez
Holton: Evangel UMC
Holton: Nueva Vida UMC
Topeka District
Kelly Sipes
Holton: Evangel UMC
Topeka District
Kathy Williams
Holton: First UMC
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

James 4:11-16

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, speaks evil against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbor?

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money.” Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

Today's Devotional

It took almost 30 years for me to finally say yes to God’s call to ministry. The final moment I said yes came early on the Sunday morning after the 2016 election. I was alone in the quiet of a sanctuary preparing to help lead worship, and all the anger and divisiveness of the campaigns which had just ended was weighing on me. I was wondering what change I could possibly make in the world around me. The answer from the still, small voice which came to me said, “You have a voice. Use it.”
 
We are now 40 days away from the next presidential election, and the polarization in America has become worse, not better. Our political rhetoric has become so divisive there are concerns about violence erupting after Election Day.
 
We will have disagreements. But as this passage from James reminds us, we have to be able to disagree and not speak evil or judge one another. This isn’t easy. Having conversations when we don’t agree is a lot harder than sarcasm, name calling, or sharing the latest inflammatory meme on social media.
 
It isn’t easy but being a follower of Christ isn’t always easy. We’re called to live our lives differently than others. We do so for a simple reason: we know that everyone, even someone on the other side of the political aisle, is also a child of God. If we remember that and do the hard work of having thoughtful conversations, I believe we can live into our mission to transform the world.
 
--Pastor Michael Turner
Topeka Grace UMC/Big Springs UMC
michael.turner@greatplainsumc.org

Prayer for Reflection

Holy God, where there is conflict let us see everyone as one of your children. Guide our words and our actions so that we may show your love in the world, even when we disagree. Amen.
 

 

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