Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/1/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Corbin UMC
Wichita West District
Cunningham UMC
Penalosa UMC
Wichita West District
Goddard UMC
Wichita West District
Haysville UMC
Wichita West District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 8

Lord, our Lord, how majestic
    is your name throughout the earth!
    You made your glory higher than heaven!
From the mouths of nursing babies
    you have laid a strong foundation
    because of your foes,
    in order to stop vengeful enemies.
When I look up at your skies,
    at what your fingers made—
    the moon and the stars
    that you set firmly in place—
        what are human beings
            that you think about them;
        what are human beings
            that you pay attention to them?
You’ve made them only slightly less than divine,
    crowning them with glory and grandeur.
You’ve let them rule over your handiwork,
    putting everything under their feet—
        all sheep and all cattle,
        the wild animals too,
        the birds in the sky,
        the fish of the ocean,
        everything that travels the pathways of the sea.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!

Today's Devotional

Go ahead and do it! Today’s the day we have been waiting for! See that trash can over there and that 2020 calendar still hanging on the wall. Take that calendar off the wall and drop it in the trash. Tear it up. Crumple it. Whatever makes sense. Maybe a sacrificial burning outside on the patio in the snow if you need to! Whatever you want to do. Full-throated permission to do it and let us move on to 2021.
Human constructs to keep track of hours, days and years move us forward and give us some semblance of hope and control. We carry on this tradition by changing the calendar year today. Time always marches ahead; we are here and ready to move into 2021. The year 2020 will forever be synonymous with disruption. It was a year of historical and communal experience loss and pain. It is a marker in time. In terms of the calendar-it is over. Yet, the effects and the disruption continue.
Psalm 8 is a hymn of recognition of the greatness of God’s handiwork. In the shadow of this New Year holiday it magnifies the author of creation’s efforts;
When I look up at your skies,
    at what your fingers made—
    the moon and the stars
We are not made to feel small as much as we are to breath in new oxygen of hope renewing our minds, our bodies, and our spirits. God, whose handiwork is the whole cosmos, is the one who will wipe every tear from every eye, bleary eyed after this year, so that we may walk clear-eyed into a new year.
The larger-than-life acts of the God who created us all has also given us the stewardship over all creation. God has given us to one another. Our responsibility as Christians is to remember that even though we are flipping the calendar to a new year, we are children of God and people of eternal worth. Every one of us is! With that perspective in our hearts and minds, each day, we are to live in a world that needs light. Just like the stars in the sky shines new light in the dark, we also need to warm loving promise of the newborn baby, as we move into the new year.
Let us remember God’s love and great power each day to give us all we need! Let us remember God’s love and great power God as we are launched into a new year. This is the God who created the cosmos and created you and me. With a God like this behind us we have got this. We can do it.
Covenant with God to be about Christ’s work through the Wesleyan Covenant Prayer below. Happy New Year! You are a child of God and person of eternal worth.
-Rev. Nathan  D. Stanton
Director, Congregational Excellence, Connectional Ministries and New Church Starts

Prayer for Reflection

Wesleyan Covenant Prayer:
“I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.”
2021, here we go. Amen.


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