Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/28/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Adams First UMC
Hopewell UMC
Tecumseh, NE First UMC
Blue River District
Wahoo First UMC
Blue River District
Waverly, NE First UMC
Blue River District
Clatonia Salem UMC
Pickrell UMC
Wilber UMC
Blue River District

Today's Lectionary Text

Luke 2:22-40 

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
    according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
    which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
    and for glory to your people Israel.”

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Today's Devotional

Before the baby Jesus even speaks a word, his ministry of hope begins.
There were two people in the temple that day. A man and a woman. Simeon and Anna.
Simeon was a very righteous and devout man. He loved God and was very faithful. God had made Simeon a really interesting promise. God promised him that he wouldn’t die until he had seen the Messiah. A really exciting offer for this God-fearing man. But was it too good to be true? How long would he have to wait?
Then two tired parents and a small baby walked into the temple. Simeon approached them asked to hold the baby. As he looked into the baby’s eyes he realized, if God kept this promise, surely God can be trusted to keep every other promise. He was filled with hope.
Then there’s Anna, the woman in the temple. She was very old. She had been married when she was younger, but her husband passed away after only 7 years of marriage. She had hopes and dreams of what her life would look like, but with her husband’s death some of her dreams died too. She lived as a widow for the rest of her life. 
Then two tired parents and a small baby walked into the temple. Anna overheard Simeon talking about the baby. As she looked into the baby’s eyes she realized; God has not forgotten her. She was filled with hope.
For those who are waiting and those tired of waiting, hope is here.
-Rev. Leandra Esler
Associate Pastor, Omaha Water's Edge

Prayer for Reflection

God, Thank you for being a God that keeps all promises. Give us hope in the waiting.


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