Great Plains Daily Devotional for 2/17/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Associate Pastor & Miracle of Innocence Ministry
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
Associate Pastor
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
Associate Pastor
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
Associate Pastor
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District

Today's Lectionary Text

Joel 2:1-2, 12-17

Blow the trumpet in Zion;
    sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
    for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near—
a day of darkness and gloom,
    a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness spread upon the mountains
    a great and powerful army comes;
their like has never been from of old,
    nor will be again after them
    in ages to come.

Yet even now, says the Lord,
    return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
    rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord, your God,
    for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
    and relents from punishing.
Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
    and leave a blessing behind him,
a grain offering and a drink offering
    for the Lord, your God?

Blow the trumpet in Zion;
    sanctify a fast;
call a solemn assembly;
    gather the people.
Sanctify the congregation;
    assemble the aged;
gather the children,
    even infants at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room,
    and the bride her canopy.

Between the vestibule and the altar
    let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep.
Let them say, “Spare your people, O Lord,
    and do not make your heritage a mockery,
    a byword among the nations.
Why should it be said among the peoples,
    ‘Where is their God?’”


Today's Devotional

Isn’t it just like us humans to turn back to God when we are between a rock and a hard place? Certainly, I have said my most fervent prayers when I was in desperate need: in hospital waiting rooms, in the midst of painful discernment, in taxi cabs in both New York and Chicago. Those drivers are nuts. This reading in Joel has the same ethos to me. Something is about to go down. People are at risk. The darkness is falling, and a powerful army is at the door. At that moment, we turn to God to save us.
Ash Wednesday reminds us that the human condition is one big something-is-about-to-go-down kind of situation. We are alive and then like a blip on the cosmic timeline, we are dust again. In the grand scheme of things, none of us has very long. Some of us have even less. So today we are called to turn back to God with no little bit of urgency. We are called to ask the big questions of why are we here and what should we be doing with the precious time that we have? Today, we are called to make a big turn. We are called to weep and mourn for the time we have wasted in pursuit of so many other things besides the God who is love. As always, God makes a way for us: with ash on our foreheads and repentance on our hearts. 
-Rev. Chris Jorgensen
Omaha: Hanscom Park UMC

Prayer for Reflection

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. So go forth with the courage to see your mistakes and mis-steps, to acknowledge the distance between you and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling … and go forth with the freedom and power to turn back toward the God of love and light and hope. Go in peace. Amen.


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