Great Plains Daily Devotional for 2/18/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Penny Ellwood
Blue Springs Campus Pastor
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
Patrick McLaughlin
Community Pastor
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
Cheryl Bell
Congregational Care Pastor
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
Tino Herrera
Congregational Care Pastor
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District

Today's Lectionary Text

Matthew 17:14-20 

When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Today's Devotional

I sometimes describe myself as a liturgical purist. I find the patterns of the liturgical year useful both in my own faith walk and ordering community worship. As I write this, we are just at Transfiguration Sunday. We share with Peter, James and John in the mountain-top experience of seeing our Lord conversing with those two pillars of Old Testament faith, Moses and Elijah. We are treated to that glorious foretaste of the age to come as we see Jesus transfigured. But than we must come down from the mountain and encounter the dirty mundane things of everyday life.

In the above scripture the disciples are faced with their own human limitations. A year ago, I had the experience of being on the team of a Walk to Emmaus weekend. While I found myself caught up in the mountaintop of the Emmaus experience while helping to guide others to a new understanding of the grace of Jesus Christ, I came down from the mountain and arrived home to the COVID-19 shut down. All the familiar places were shutting down: the church where I joined in communal worship, the gym where I worked out, my barber, even regularly scheduled medical appointments were canceled.

Like the disciples in our text, I asked “why can’t we?” Holy Week, Easter and Pentecost, even Advent and Christmas came and went without in person worship. And I mostly stayed home for safety. The pastor of the church with which I am associated stated recently stated that it seems Lent has lasted all year.

“Why can’t we?” we ask with the original disciples; and like them we receive Jesus’ answer. “I assure you that if you have faith … there is nothing you can’t do” Matthew 17:20 CEB
-Russel McAlister
Retired Local Pastor

Prayer for Reflection

Christ, in your mercy help us to walk through these difficult times seeking those things we can do through our faith in you. Amen


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