Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/10/2020

Today please be in prayer for

David Benavides
Rock UMC
Wichita East District
Davis Laughlin
Rosalia UMC
Wichita East District
Emmanuel Afful
Rose Hill UMC
Wichita East District
Byoung Lee
Tisdale UMC
Wichita East District

Today's Lectionary Text

John 3:7 – 18

Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Today's Devotional

How often do we sit at home or in our church sanctuaries and expect the people to come to us? Here we have John in the wilderness baptizing with water. Helping people prepare for something new. In many ways I think the pandemic has been grooming all of us to be more faithful in our calling to follow Jesus. While we are in this Advent season, we are reminded to prepare our hearts. Prepare for what? The baby, showing compassion to others, cleaning out all the things that may be separating us from God, my answer would be maybe. It all depends on what is going on in your lives. This time of worshipping from home, recording worship services, making phone calls, and sending out cards has been challenging for me. I tell people time and time again I draw energy from in person interaction, worshipping in a community in person is my preferred method and I know that is probably many of your preference too.
 
John calls us to follow through with acts of compassion, 10 And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” 11 In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation and be satisfied with your wages.” He didn’t hold back any punches he spoke the truth. This truth still applies in our world today. There are more in need this holiday season than normal because of the challenges of the pandemic. Our unemployment rates are at an all-time high, our food banks are serving more people and they are facing challenges in keeping product on the shelves for distribution.
  
So, what can we do? Care for those on the edge of society. Support our local food banks, provide clothing to our clothing ministries, serve our community. These are just a few suggestions and I know as United Methodists you are all doing good work across the Great Plains Conference, let’s continue on and to quote Isaiah, “‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’” 

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

Loving God, may your light continue to shine in our world, May we continue to be your hands and feet in this world. Let us always look beyond the advent season and let Christ shine through us each and every day. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
 

 

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