Great Plains Daily Devotional for 10/29/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Ryong Jae Jung
Pittsburg: College Heights UMC
Pittsburg: Korean Love UMC
Parsons District
Mark Chambers
Pittsburg: First UMC
Parsons District
Linda Stotler
Pittsburg: Grace UMC
Parsons District
Keunsik Lee
Elgin, KS UMC
Sedan UMC
Wauneta, KS UMC
Parsons District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 122

I was glad when they said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
Our feet are standing
    within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem—built as a city
    that is bound firmly together.
To it the tribes go up,
    the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
    to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For there the thrones for judgment were set up,
    the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
    “May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
    and security within your towers.”
For the sake of my relatives and friends
    I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
    I will seek your good.

Today's Devotional

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, “stepping out in faith?” Do you picture yourself taking a risk, pursuing an idea God has pressed on your mind? Do you imagine telling someone about your faith, or pushing through the awkwardness to invite someone to church? Maybe you see it as a challenge to make that big change God has been calling you to for quite some time.
 
If this describes you, fantastic! Take those risks for the glory of God. Answer the call!
 
But what if you’re thinking, “What does that even mean? I’m so tired. I’m burned out. I’m working on putting one foot in front of the other—how can I possibly “step out,” even in faith?
 
I’ll admit, this is often where my thoughts go. Even before the pandemic, I was feeling spiritually weary.
 
Psalm 122:1 rejoices, “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
 
I know that glad is how I should feel about going to God’s house, but many times I feel more burdened than glad. I’m not talking about the burden of inconvenience—I’ve never been one to let bad weather or dragging small children out the door keep me from going to church. I’m talking about the burden of walking across the room to cheerfully help the new person feel at home, while you’re wondering if you’ll ever feel at home there yourself.
 
The reasons I feel this way may be different from your reasons, but I imagine you probably get what I mean. For all its joys, church life can also bring its share of pain.
 
Psalm 122 describes Jerusalem as a city build solidly together, where all the tribes drop their differences for a while and gather to give thanks to God. At its best, this is what church is like and we often achieve this. But we do spend quite a bit of energy on our differences, large and small, don’t we?
 
Even so, I know in my heart God wants me to spend life in community.
 
I know my children are genuinely loved at our church, and the awareness of this community of love will help them build their own solid foundations.
 
I know I need to learn from others’ experiences of God and the way they understand the Bible. I need to listen to the hard-won wisdom of the very saints I see every Sunday. And, that others need to hear my thoughts, too.
 
Sometimes “stepping out in faith” means staying the course.
 
If you’re weary, have faith that you are where God is calling you to be. One day, you may find it’s time to step out in faith. But for today, staying the course might be enough.
 
-Jayna McFarland
Web and social media specialist, Great Plains Conference

jmcfarland@greatplainsumc.org

Prayer for Reflection

God, who knows our hearts, you are too wonderful not to praise. Too generous not to thank. Too full of wisdom not to follow. Reveal to us our thoughts that pull us off-course so we can keep walking in faith. Renew our minds, our spirits and our bonds of Christian love. Amen.
 

 

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