Great Plains Daily Devotional for 11/18/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Israel Kamudzandu
Blue Mound UMC
Mound City UMC
Saint Paul School of Theology
Five Rivers District
Marti McDougal
Lane UMC
Osawatomie: First UMC
Five Rivers District
Jay Pi
Ottawa: First UMC
Richter UMC
Five Rivers District
Ron Bell
Ottawa: Trinity UMC
Five Rivers District

Today's Lectionary Text

Acts 1:6-9

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

Today's Devotional

This scripture is about Jesus’ ascension to heaven.  But when I read it this week, something new jumped out at me.

At this point, the disciples knew beyond any doubt that Jesus was the Messiah. They had witnessed his miracles of healing, of provision, and of compassion.  They had seen him walk on water.  They had seen him tortured to death and sealed in a tomb.  They were first-hand witnesses to his resurrection.  They had shared fish and bread with him after his resurrection.  There was no doubt that they were in the presence of God Incarnate.

These were the disciples’ final moments with Jesus the Christ.  He was giving them final instructions that they should be witnesses to the world.  He was promising them power and presence.  Yet what were they concerned with?  Politics. 

They did not ask him about how this Spirit of Power would manifest itself.  They did not ask him for wisdom or courage.  They asked if finally, the political power would be taken away from the Romans so that the kingdom of Israel would be restored.

How much time in the last months have we wasted worrying about politics?  Should we not instead be spending time in the presence of God, listening for his leadership?  Should we not be claiming the power of the Holy Spirit to spread the news of forgiveness and salvation to the ends of the earth?
-Dorothy Smith, FL
Humboldt-Table Rock,  NE


Prayer for Reflection

Almighty God, Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, Three in One, forgive us for getting caught up in the drama and selfishness of humanity’s struggle for power.  Empower us to go forth in power and courage to spread the good news of love, forgiveness, and acceptance to the ends of the earth. Amen


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