Great Plains Daily Devotional for 11/25/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Judy Miller-Qualley
Cody Hunt's Chapel UMC
Great West District
Lami Oladimeji
Crawford First UMC
Harrison Memorial UMC
Whitney Warring Memorial UMC
Great West District
Alisa Parde
Culbertson Trinity UMC
Trenton First UMC
Great West District
Tim McCrary
Curtis First UMC
Garden Prairie UMC
Great West District

Today's Lectionary Text

John 5:19-40

Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.

“Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.

“You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

Today's Devotional

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Let us readily accept that we will set ourselves up as judges on this day. I already have: my mother makes better mashed potatoes than you. But we will also place ourselves in a place to judge the NFL for continuing to give the Cowboys and Lions prime TV spots on Thanksgiving Day. And maybe more painfully, we will judge our family members and try to navigate how to remain in relationship with them after they voted for a particular candidate. Maybe we will judge those that have refused to take the pandemic seriously that has now made it so difficult to gather as a family this year. Maybe it is difficult to be with family (regardless of a pandemic) because you yourself are being judged for who you are, or what you stand for, or the mistakes that you have made.

Judgements are a part of life — sometimes harmless and sometimes traumatic. In today’s passage from John 5:19-40 Jesus gives us another way. Just before he gave this speech about being in union with the Father and judgement Jesus encountered fierce opposition from religious leaders about how he was breaking “how things are supposed to be done.” But Jesus proclaims that those who believe his words do not come under judgement. We are released from the judgment of what others are telling us “should” be or “ought” to be. This is freedom not only for us, but for those around us. As we believe (and put in practice) the words of Jesus we release others from judgement as well. This is fullness of life.

Tomorrow will be a Thanksgiving like no other, but that also means that we have the opportunity to enact new ways of seeing and new ways of being a non-judgmental presence that lets life flourish.
-Pastor David B. Clark
Girard and Farlington, KS UMC's

dclark@greatplainsumc.org
 

Prayer for Reflection

We are on the precipice of the holiday season; filled with anticipation and anxiety. God of peace, bring us to that place of calm and joy where judgments fall away, and fullness of life is experienced.
 

 

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