Great Plains Daily Devotional for 2/24/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Jeff Smith
Olathe: Aldersgate UMC
Kansas City District
Kyle Reynolds
Olathe: Grace UMC
Kansas City District
Nanette Roberts
Olathe: Grace UMC
Kansas City District
Cheryl Somers-Ingersol
Olathe: Grace UMC
Kansas City District

Today's Lectionary Text

John 13:1-7

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

Today's Devotional

One of the most beautiful songs in the United Methodist Hymnal is No. 432, “Jesu, Jesu.” Written to a folk song from Ghana, its words from beginning to end describe in succinct form much of the message of the Gospel. It outlines what we are called to do and who we are called to be.
 
Maybe you remember it. The refrain says, “Jesu, Jesu fill us with your love, show us how to serve the neighbors we have from you.” Then verse 1 describes actions of Jesus with and to His closest friends. Rather than bragging about who He is and how much more important He is than they, or even instead of having them wait on Him, He kneels and performs a menial task for each of them. Interesting that He does this in quietness.
 
Then, verse 2 summarizes who are our neighbors: rich ones, poor ones, those who look and act like me, those who don’t. The verse ends by noting that neighbors are not just those who dwell close by. Our neighbors might live in another city or on another continent. There are so many possibilities for whom we might serve.
 
The movement continues through the verses until we find ourselves on our knees, offering a caring, cleansing gesture for our friends. The group of friends has expanded though. It is now much larger than those with whom we are in regular contact. God’s love and tenderness have moved through Jesus into us and out toward others. The song puts us silently kneeling and offering care for those out in the world.
 
That silence provided a chance for Jesus to connect with God and with those around him. Even while we are busy with a task, perhaps quietness offers an opportunity to connect with God in our minds and hearts. It gives a chance to focus on others and lift up their needs before God. We can let ourselves be channels for God’s love to flow to them. The silent action of caring fills the other with a model and provides a nudge for sharing God’s love with even more others. The Gospel thus grows in power and spreads further throughout creation. Perhaps the opportunity is to wash feet.
 
Maybe it’s filling growling tummies. It could be helping with child care or homework. Maybe listening with an open mind and heart is the opportunity before us. There are lots of possibilities. We must each seize the best one, the one God calls us to. We just need to get busy.
 
That pretty much outlines what needs to happen. God expects it from us and desires it for all creation. Great hymn!
-Rev. Dianne Tombaugh
Retired Diaconal Minister

Prayer for Reflection

O God, Thank you for the neighbors we have from you. Make us aware today of your love for us and them. Help us see where and how to serve this day. Amen
 

 

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