Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/15/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Winfield First UMC
Wichita East District
Winfield Grace UMC
Wichita East District
Derby Madison Avenue UMC
Winfield Grandview UMC
Wichita East District
District Superintendent
Blue River District
Elkhorn Valley District

Today's Lectionary Text

Isaiah 61:1-2

The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn…

Today's Devotional

This year’s journey towards Advent has been quieter than some years for the congregation I serve. The hallways of our building have not been stretched by our annual glue gun and glitter free-for-all, also known as the Advent Fair, and forest of angel trees has gone virtual. Yet in spite of the quiet of the building, I have every confidence that the Holy Spirit is speaking quite loudly beyond the walls of the church.
The Prophet Isaiah calls to us from centuries past to consider in our present moment how our actions will inform the futures of our communities. I find that following health protocols in this Advent season has not kept the church from loudly proclaiming the good news to the oppressed and has not prevented us from binding up the brokenhearted. The challenge, of course, has been trying to figure out how we can be present as disciples who know ourselves to be seekers of justice in a time when we are not physically present together.
I find myself thinking about the words “present” and “presence” as I consider Isaiah’s invitation to seek justice while proclaiming the good news and I wonder if perhaps this year the best gift we give ourselves and our communities is the gift of presence – making ourselves present to the moving of the Spirit, making space to center ourselves in scripture and reflection, and using our voices and emails and letters to amplify the voices and wisdom of those in our community whose presence have been too-long overlooked or ignored. In this strange season of Advent, perhaps we are learning to accept and offer the gift of presence.
-Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede
St. Paul Benson, Omaha

Prayer for Reflection

God whose presence we have known in all times and spaces, we give thanks for the journey we find in you and pray that may learn each day how to be more and more present to your call.

Visit for a video that goes with today's devotion.  Stephanie does a great series on her vast collection of snowdomes! 


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