Great Plains Daily Devotional for 9/25/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Young Won
Horton: First UMC
Netawaka UMC
Whiting UMC
Topeka District
Norma Jeane Miller
Hoyt UMC
Topeka District
Seth Montgomery
Camp Creek UMC
Lancaster UMC
Topeka District
Rob Ernest
Lecompton UMC
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

2 Corinthians 5:16-21

From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
 

Today's Devotional

Years ago, I had the opportunity to help lead a Disciple Bible Study with inmates at the state prison in Hutchinson. Upon arriving at security, I was searched, asked to empty my pockets (leaving car keys, wallet and ID behind) and take only my Bible, study guide and pencil. Passing through one locked door after another, deeper into the bowels of the prison, I arrived at a classroom with 10 inmates eagerly awaiting the Bible study. That inmate Bible study was a first-hand encounter with a ministry of reconciliation as inmates reflected on their past, confessed their wrongdoing, named what they hoped to become and what it meant now to follow the way of Jesus in a relationship of faith, hope and love. The hour was filled with sacred moments.
 
Now years later I see how important it is for us in this year of 2020 to engage in a “ministry of reconciliation” as Paul challenges us in verses 18-20. Today’s world filled with political divide, systemic racism, overt prejudice, police misconduct, growing poverty and expressions of defensive Christian faith that wraps the Bible in the flag, demonstrates to me the great need of healing and reconciliation between people. And more and more I am concluding only communities of faith can help bring about this healing. As The Message translation states “God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them.”
 
So where do we start this “work” of a ministry of reconciliation? For me it starts with myself. And each day be honest to God as I examine, name and let go of my anger, resentments, anxieties and despair regarding politics, prejudice, policing, poverty and faith expressions. Then and only then can I be open to be an “ambassador for Christ” seeking to join Christ Jesus in the movement and ministry of reconciliation happening in our world. It’s hard work. It’s important work. But it’s not work that we do alone. And when we do it, we experience sacred moments! So, let’s commit ourselves to be “used” by God this day, this month, this year in a ministry of reconciliation that brings healing to our world.
 
--Rick Saylor
Retired Clergy and Coach

Prayer for Reflection

O God who removes differences; You know how divided our world is right now. You also are at work in our world. May we not let this work of reconciliation be up to You alone. Help us to have courage and wisdom to act with You in bringing healing between people. This day give us an opportunity to act as a minister of reconciliation. So be it. Amen.
 

 

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