Great Plains Daily Devotional for 11/3/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Courtland UMC
Scandia UMC
Salina District
Enterprise UMC
Salina District
Barnard UMC
Hunter: Grace Chapel UMC
Salina District
Industry UMC
Salina District

Today's Lectionary Text

1 John 3:1-3; Mathew 5:1-12
Matthew 5:1-12 — Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up a mountain. He sat down and his disciples came to him.  He taught them, saying: “Happy are people who are hopeless, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Happy are people who grieve, because they will be made glad. Happy are people who are humble, because they will inherit the earth. Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full. Happy are people who show mercy, because they will receive mercy. Happy are people who have pure hearts, because they will see God. Happy are people who make peace, because they will be called God’s children. Happy are people whose lives are harassed because they are righteous, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Happy are you when people insult you and harass you and speak all kinds of bad and false things about you, all because of me.  Be full of joy and be glad, because you have a great reward in heaven. In the same way, people harassed the prophets who came before you.
1 John 3:1-3 — See what kind of love the Father has given to us in that we should be called God’s children, and that is what we are! Because the world didn’t recognize him, it doesn’t recognize us.

Dear friends, now we are God’s children, and it hasn’t yet appeared what we will be. We know that when he appears we will be like him because we’ll see him as he is.  And all who have this hope in him purify themselves even as he is pure.

See also Revelation 7:9-17

Today's Devotional

I have a feeling that if Jesus were to give us a test on the Beatitudes on this Election Day, many of us — this guy included — would fail. We may recognize this amazing lesson from the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5, but we as a society haven’t done a good job of living them out.

As evidence, I present the election that culminates — at least with the voting portion of it — today across the United States. I don’t know about you, but the gush of negative advertisements on television has really weighed on me in recent weeks. And I got into more than my share of Facebook and Twitter conversations-turned-arguments, so much so that I chose not to comment on anything political as of about Oct. 12. I needed a break from it, and I’m sure the people I “conversed” with needed a break as well.

The lectionary readings from this past Sunday match up almost perfectly with what I needed to be reminded of as we conclude the voting phase of our elections and head into what likely will be a contentious time of verifying and accepting results, regardless of which candidate wins the presidency.

I had to be reminded first and foremost that regardless of who is in the White House, it is Jesus Christ who is on the throne. Revelation 7 gives us a visual of the throne room in Heaven and includes an exchange that proclaims that people from all walks of life — Democrats, Republicans, unaffiliated, and anything in between — are followers of Christ who one day will be together in the Kingdom, regardless of if they voted red or blue.

Next, I had to be reminded from 1 John 3 that God looks at us all as God’s children. And God loves all of the children, regardless of which campaign signs are displayed in their lawns or which bumper stickers are visible on their cars.

Finally, let’s look again at those Beatitudes. We learn God blesses the hopeless, those who grieve, the humble, the hungry, the merciful, the pure in heart, the harassed, the oppressed, and people who try to bring peace into volatile situations — peacemakers. Those blessings certainly could come directly from God, but I suspect more often they come indirectly from God through us, from Christians serving as the hands and feet of Christ in the world today. And we are to show our love for all of those people regardless of party affiliation or political persuasion.
It’s been a volatile time in our country. And no doubt many blame others of the opposing political persuasion for the unrest and division.

But let’s remember that Jesus called us to be unified, as a family of believers, who may disagree on some things but who worship the same Savior, and who one day will stand in the same throne room, clothed in heavenly attire and our voices raised in praise, with no political buttons or negative ads anywhere to be found.
   — Todd Seifert, director of communications

Prayer for Reflection

Loving God, help us to remember to love one another on this Election Day and beyond. Help us to put behind us differences and divisions that humankind has put in place and instead embrace the unity available to all of us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.


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