Great Plains Daily Devotional for 2/16/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Tim Hutabarat
Leavenworth: Southern Heights UMC
Kansas City District
Changhyun Kim
Leavenworth: Trinity UMC
Kansas City District
Adam Hamilton
Senior Pastor
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
Joshua Clough
Overland Park Campus Minister
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District

Today's Lectionary Text

Matthew 6:16-18

And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
 

Today's Devotional

In the past few years, I’ve taken on a daily Lenten study as a spiritual practice. The author uses a Bible verse for a request for presence, a daily reading, an observation, a meditation and closes with a practicum. It’s a steadying practice in an off-kilter word.

Feasting and fasting are also a part of this practice. Deciding what to fast from to draw me nearer to God is always a challenge, but especially this year. I’m not a big chocolate eater, I gave up soda months ago, and giving up my one cup of coffee a day sounds like a bad idea not only for me but for those who live with me.

On my feasting day do I really want to load up on sugar or caffeine only to crash later that day or the next? No thank you. And it doesn’t feel like a good way to draw closer to God.

I don’t know about you, but it feels like we’ve been slogging through Lent for the last almost year. We’ve had many days of fasting, but few of true feasting. We’ve fasted from the physical presence of friends, family, gathering for special occasions, going to concerts, seeing movies, celebrations and gathering as a community in grief.

So, what do we fast and feast on during this time? Could I fast from negative thoughts and feelings? Could I store up positive interactions from the week and feast on them all at once? Stick to health eating six days but feast on a favorite dessert on Sunday?

If nothing else, I think the pandemic has taught us to find even the small joys in everyday things. Fasting from the frenetic pace of our lives before and feasting on a new slower flow that might be better for us. Maybe it’s a chance for a reset, to let us focus on what really matters.

Wait, does that sound like the purpose of the Lenten season? It sure does to me.
 
-Lisa Soukup
Communications administrative assistant
lsoukup@greatplainsumc.org

Prayer for Reflection

Heavenly Father, help us to use this season of Lent to draw closer to you.  The last year has been taxing for many of us, help us to use this experience to get to the heart of who you want us to be in your world. 

 

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