Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/4/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Adam Barlow-Thompson
Director
SoCe Life
Wichita East District
Wendy Mohler-Seib
Southwestern College Institute for Discipleship Director, Winfiled
Wichita East District
Deann Smith
United Methodist Open Door, Inc
Wichita East District
Jimmy Taylor
Chaplain
US Air Force
Wichita East District

Today's Lectionary Text

 

Matthew 5:3-4

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Today's Devotional

Sitting at my computer today trying to figure out what I was thinking last week when I signed up for the GP devotional I am wondering, “Where is my inspiration?”  I paused, said a brief inner prayer, “God please provide me with inspiration.” The word that immediately came to mind was “comfort”.  Something that we are all needing during this Advent season.  First Lent, then Easter, Thanksgiving, and now Advent have all taken on a whole new concept and meaning.  Many may look forward to this time of preparation as we journey to manger.  I look forward to Christmas Eve and watching the sanctuaries take on a Holy aura. 

Traditionally I have closed our Christmas Eve services with Silent Night and my wife and I take the light from the Christ candle and share it with the congregation.  Watching the candles start to light up around the sanctuary sends goose bumps up and down my arms and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.  As I was describing this moment I looked down and there were the goose bumps, and I could feel a little chill.  Holy Spirit moments is what I have come to call this.  I have always felt the Holy Spirit during Christmas Eve and many times I am never able to finish the song because of the tears in my eyes as we sing Silent Night. 

So How does this part of the beatitudes apply to comfort.  Just read it, think about it, and most of all invite the Holy Spirit in.  Yes, Advent is different for many of us this year, online worship has become a default for many of our churches.  The two churches I serve in the Hutchinson District have been online, in-person, then online again (because my wife and I had to quarantine), in-person, and now following our bishop’s recommendation we are again online. 

We are challenged to find those Holy Spirit moments, those moments when we need to be comforted.  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  God will walk with us through these challenging times and we will feel the Holy Spirit when we least expect it and maybe when we most need it.  So, let us think about ways to reach beyond the walls of the church and help others feel that comfort that God brings into our lives. 

-Rev. Jeff Goetzinger
Mitchell Chapel and Little River UMC's
jgoetzinger@greatplainsumc.org
 
 

Prayer for Reflection

Gracious and Loving God guide us this Advent season so that we can feel your Holy Spirit comfort us in challenging times.  Maybe someone is grieving a loved one, maybe we are grieving in person worship, maybe we don’t know why we feel like we are adrift.  Your love provides comfort and gives us an anchor point to continue to move through these challenging times and to share your love with others.  In Jesus’ holy name we pray, Amen.
 

 

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