Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/9/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Alder Grove UMC
Craig Presbyterian
Craig UMC
Elkhorn Valley District
Allen, NE UMC
Ponca First UMC
Elkhorn Valley District
Bartlett, NE UMC
Ericson UMC
Elkhorn Valley District
Bassett UMC
Springview UMC
Elkhorn Valley District

Today's Lectionary Text

Although we know nothing yet about 2021

There is hope for healing.


Heard in the voices of fun-loving girls

falling backwards into the snow

laughing uncontrollably.

Unprovoked giggling is contagious

hopeful and beautiful!


There is hope for healing and transformation.


Heard in the voices of children as they say,

If I were a Magi bringing

 gifts to Jesus I’d bring peace,

love, hope, and joy. We’d all sing, “We Three

Kings of Orient Are.”


How grateful I am for youthful smiles and songs.

 Being silly is a sign of

Being in the moment and

not fearing the upcoming future.

Grateful we are loved by God.

Isn’t that what really matters?

Today's Devotional

Last week New Year’s Eve was celebrated all over the world. Fireworks were blasted into the dark night, songs were sung, and poems were penned. Millions of memes were posted.

Yet admittedly, I was not yet fully in the spirit upon hearing Auld Lang Syne. People expressing their thrill that 2020 was over wasn’t making sense to me. It’s just a date on the calendar, what has truly changed? Is it the rolling over to 2021 that is so different? Saint Paul’s New Year’s Eve “Wesley Covenant Service” had begun the work of recognizing and releasing any residual fears from 2020. Those things that provoked fear and caused irritation within me. Even though something had shifted in my heart during the season of Advent, not all had gone out the window.

Now that we are in the season of Christmas, how will the transformation and letting go, and being part of the building of the Kingdom of God continue so that the New Year truly is welcomed in and celebrated?

It happened this past weekend when people brought boxes and bags of pantry items that were collected while participating in the Reverse Advent Calendar. Members of the youth group and the Mercy and Justice Team retrieved the items from people’s vehicles and will deliver them to Together this week.

In between drop-offs, there was time to build a tiny snowman, sing camp songs like “Father Abraham”, attempt snow angels in the crisp snow, and loosen ice along the edge of the curb. There was time to talk about the Joseph of Genesis and to record a Dyno Kids video. Hot cocoa warmed cold bodies on a thirty-degree day and our hearts were warmed by those who brought pantry items, and gloves and hats with a smile.

We are partway through the first week of January 2021. We trust that this year will be better and that we’ve learned new ways of “being” in 2020. We trust that the ways we’ve practiced being quiet in God’s presence will not simply be a 2020 fad; but will continue while going down the different road as present-day followers of Jesus Christ.

Be assured that there will be times we embrace 2021 and times we do not. As Ecclesiastes 3:5 informs us, there is a time for embracing and a time not to embrace. Have confidence that we will continue to embrace each of you in our hearts, and pray for the time when it is safe to embrace you with our arms once again.

The Light and Peace of Our Savior be with you,

-Rev. Marta Wheeler
Saint Paul Benson, Omaha


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