Great Plains Daily Devotional for 10/18/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Liberal First UMC
Dodge City District
Liberal: Rosa de Saron
Dodge City District
Meade UMC
Dodge City District
Minneola UMC
Dodge City District

Today's Lectionary Text

Exodus 20:7

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

Today's Devotional

What is wrongful use of God’s name? I’ve been thinking about that lately in these days when anxious people at times speak with such certainty and forcefulness about beliefs. As a youngster I learned this commandment as “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” My early teachers impressed upon me that taking the name of the Lord in vain was when you cussed or swore using God’s name. It was part of the four-fold morality code taught to me that I “should not cuss, drink, smoke or chew – nor date women who do.” 
But seriously, I am coming to appreciate a deeper meaning of the 3rd commandment. In learning Biblical Hebrew, I discovered how the Jewish faith had such deep reverence for God’s name that they could not fully pronounce it. Instead they used the consonants only YHWH, which later had vowels added in our Bible so YHWH became Yahweh. But consider this mystery. When we pronounce the name Yahweh it is an exercise in openness. For our lips begin and end naming God’s name with open lips. Try it. Yahweh. (It’s also the same process with Jesus’s name for God as “Abba”).
What a wonderful reminder to us to approach praying and speaking the name for God with mystery, openness and anticipation. It’s a wonderful reminder to not make a wrongful use of God’s name as if we have the last word when speaking the name of God. So, let’s continue the mystery of speaking the name of God (and indeed all names we use for God) with openness, both literally with our voice and symbolically in our hearts and minds.

--Rick Saylor, retired clergy
Clergy and Congregational Coach

*devotion originally published 10/18/2019


Prayer for Reflection

O Yahweh, speaking your name is only a beginning in approaching you in prayer. O Yahweh, as my lips are open with your name, let my heart, mind and spirit be open as well in this very moment of prayer.
And let it be so!


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