Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/5/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Wichita Aldersgate UMC
Wichita West District
Wichita Asbury UMC
Wichita West District
Wichita Bethany UMC
Wichita Cedar Chapel UMC
Wichita West District
Wichita Central Avenue UMC
Wichita West District

Today's Lectionary Text

Isaiah 60:1-6

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.

Today's Devotional

These words from the Prophet Isaiah reach out to us from the distant past and pull us into the very present journey that we find ourselves telling and sharing each year over the course of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. The story we tell is of a particular family and their very specific child; the characters that we encounter along with them are at this point well known to those who have attended a children’s pageant or have found themselves following the cycle of scriptures for the liturgical year.
This specific biblical narrative, while singular, is accompanied by additional stories. These include memories of our own families, hopes for a new year, and dreams we have cherished in our hearts but not yet spoken aloud. Isaiah’s words lift up themes of the journey from this story: God’s faithfulness, the dream of a shining light gathering people together, an abundance of gifts so great it is as if to come from the sea.
Too often, we are discouraged from remembering our dreams of hope, abundance and light. Perhaps they seem impossible, not worth the mental space to tease out the “what ifs” or discarded because they are viewed as a distraction. And yet the prophet speaks to us and we remember, “the Lord will rise upon you; God’s glory will appear over you.” The “you” of the scripture speaks to us as individuals who are part of a global community of faith, and we remember in this day before Epiphany that we are a people who are called not just to dream but to listen to dreamers and prophets, and to search for God where others have given up hope. We are a people called to share the Good News we have witnessed, in spite of and in the midst of difficult times.
As we welcome the words of Isaiah and the arrival of the Wise Ones, how will we make space for dreams and dreamers, prophets and prophesies? How will we choose to share the good news that we have already witnessed?
-Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede
St. Paul Omaha

Prayer for Reflection

God of dreamers and prophets, we lift our eyes to you and see your faithfulness. Help us to respond to your call upon our lives so that we might be a living witness to the good news we have already seen.
Click here to see Stephanie's snowdome devotion on the Three Kings. 


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