Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/18/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Michael Burgess
Ceresco UMC
Ithaca UMC
Valparaiso UMC
Blue River District
Wayne Reynolds
Crete Grace UMC
Blue River District
Ed Millican
Denton UMC-NE
Pleasant Dale UMC
Blue River District
Lori Miller
DeWitt UMC
Plymouth Peace UMC
Swanton UMC
Blue River District

Today's Lectionary Text

2 Samuel 7: 1-11, 16

When the king was settled in his palace, and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “Look! I’m living in a cedar palace, but God’s chest is housed in a tent!”

Nathan said to the king, “Go ahead and do whatever you are thinking, because the Lord is with you.”

But that very night the Lord’s word came to Nathan: Go to my servant David and tell him: This is what the Lord says: You are not the one to build the temple for me to live in. In fact, I haven’t lived in a temple from the day I brought Israel out of Egypt until now. Instead, I have been traveling around in a tent and in a dwelling. Throughout my traveling around with the Israelites, did I ever ask any of Israel’s tribal leaders I appointed to shepherd my people: Why haven’t you built me a cedar temple?

So then, say this to my servant David: This is what the Lord of heavenly forces says: I took you from the pasture, from following the flock, to be leader over my people Israel. I’ve been with you wherever you’ve gone, and I’ve eliminated all your enemies before you. Now I will make your name great—like the name of the greatest people on earth. I’m going to provide a place for my people Israel, and plant them so that they may live there and no longer be disturbed. Cruel people will no longer trouble them, as they had been earlier, when I appointed leaders over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies.

And the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make a dynasty for you.

Today's Devotional

I love beautiful churches! Lovely Lane Chapel located at Epworth By the Sea on St. Simons Island is one of my favorite little churches to sneak into and just sit and enjoy the stillness. There is nothing fancy about it. Just a small worship space. As I travel around the Great Plains Conference, looking for old country churches is what I enjoy. If the walls could only talk and tell the stories of sermons preached, hymns sung, prayers lifted, and the noise of friends and family just being in community.

The house of worship – it is where we meet God, right? I mean, we go to be in His presence, right? Hmm – yet there are so many other places that I find God, and soak in His presence. Go to my servant David and tell him: This is what the Lord says: You are not the one to build the temple for me to live in. In fact, I haven’t lived in a temple from the day I brought Israel out of Egypt until now. Instead, I have been traveling around in a tent and in a dwelling. (vv.5 & 6).

Hang in here with me now - - I’m calling an audible. I think I just saw permission for us to begin a Fresh Expression ministry! Did you catch it – I haven’t lived in a temple … until now. I have been traveling around. The very presence of God is not just in our beautiful buildings! It’s OK for us to gather in a coffee shop, at the park, via Zoom, and any other place we might be. It’s OK for us to gather and share the Word with one another – wherever we might be. Now that is exciting!

Fresh Expressions – where is God calling you to plant the gospel and build relationships? You have permission.

-Rev. Hollie Tapley
Disaster Response Coordinator
htapley@greatplainsumc.org

Prayer for Reflection

Thank You, ever present God for giving us permission to get out of the building and be the church. May we hear and obey our mission of transforming our community, state, nation, and world for Jesus Christ. Amen.
 

 

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