Great Plains Daily Devotional for 2/25/2021

Today please be in prayer for

David Kim
Overland Park: Central Korean UMC
Kansas City District
Maria Campbell
Overland Park: Heritage UMC
Kansas City District
Ali Haynes
Overland Park: Indian Heights UMC
Kansas City District
Harun Gatobu
Overland Park: St Mark's UMC
Kansas City District

Today's Lectionary Text

Mark 8:31-38

Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Today's Devotional

Just after telling Peter to “get behind me” for questioning his teaching on his own imminent death and resurrection, Jesus begins teaching the crowd on a life of sacrifice and service. This is an aspect of the Christian life that is hard for many to accept. We live surrounded by a common culture that teaches “if it feels good, just do it.” Or, that we should put ourselves first. We revel in sports championships and denigrate the runners-up as losers.
 
Our culture teaches that success is all about being first no matter the cost to others. Yet, Jesus said “‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
 
This is the lesson of Lent. Once a year the church calls us to rethink our priorities and our definitions of success. We are called for these forty days to sacrifice, contemplation and service that we may better see the footprints of Jesus on that dusty road to Jerusalem and the cross.
 
The church has known for centuries that we cannot full rejoice in the glory of resurrection without first spending time contemplating the sacrifice and suffering of Jesus leading up to his death and resurrection.
 
As we continue in Lent let us remember,” For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the Gospel, will save it.”
-Russel McAlister
Retired Pastor

rmcalister1@cox.net
 
 

Prayer for Reflection

Gracious Lord, help us today to shoulder whatever cross you would have us carry and more closely follow in your way. Help us to live as you lived, in service to God and neighbor. Amen
 

 

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