Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/17/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Casey Karges
Director, The Meditation Center
Cortland United
Blue River District
Ruth Karlsson
Director
Released and Restored
Blue River District
Austin Rivera
Yale Univ. PhD Religious Studies
Blue River District
Paixao Baptista
Beatrice Centenary UMC
Blue River District

Today's Lectionary Text

John 1:5 -10 

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.

Today's Devotional

Light. We talk about God being the Light in the world and often we may let the darkness overtake our attitudes, our thoughts, maybe even our prayers. This has been a year where darkness could very easily overtake and overwhelm us, but yet here we are in the midst of Advent journeying to the manger. I am remembering light in the world.
 
As I write I am thinking of one way in which our Hutchinson Network has embraced an opportunity to encourage a larger audience. I along with my colleagues Mic McGuire, Michael Tomson-DeGreef, Shelly Petz and Robbie Fall came together and recorded a Zoom Blue Christmas service. I know of others who are embracing innovation and doing special online prayer times, encouraging network colleagues to record their favorite piece and putting it all together in a video to share out to their church networks. This is a season of celebration and of innovation.
 
 So, as we think about the light of the world and how John reminds us that if we are living in darkness we are not embracing the light of Christ. As I think about that stone feeding trough, that baby Jesus used as a bed I am reminded of Love. We focus our Advent weeks around Peace, Hope, Love and Joy. Finally, as we come to Christmas Eve, we welcome the light in the midst of all the darkness.
 
So, this year find ways to share light, find ways to recognize the gifts of those around you. Find ways to use these gifts to push back the darkness that COVID-19 has brought into the world. Push back the darkness that political division has brought into the world. Push back the darkness that may even be creeping into your heart as you may focus on what we have lost this year. Let us pray for the millions of people across the world that are in the midst of grief because of the virus. Let us acknowledge the loss we face this year.
 
 As I encourage you to acknowledge the loss of this year let us shine the light brightly as we embrace innovation, we embrace change we are uncomfortable with, let us embrace how this time has shown us there are new ways to connect. Yes, words can be meaningless at times but if we truly embrace the season and welcome the new opportunities to connect, we will continue to shine the light of Christ in the world and the darkness will never win.
-Rev. Jeff Goetzinger
Little River and Mitchell Chapel UMC's
jgoetzinger@greatplainsumc.org

Prayer for Reflection

Holy God, during this season of winter may we continue to remember the light of the world that changed it all. Let us look at new ways in which we as your people and your church embrace innovation and connect with others in the world. Guide us as we continue to let Christ’s light shine in the world. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
 

 

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