Great Plains Daily Devotional for 3/3/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Ron Harris
Emporia: First UMC
Flint Hills District
Karla Sheffy
Emporia: First UMC
Flint Hills District
Brenda Ulrich
Emporia: Grace UMC
Flint Hills District
HyunJung Choi
Eureka: First UMC
Hamilton UMC
Flint Hills District

Today's Lectionary Text

John 12:37, 42-43

 
Although (Jesus) had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in Him. … Nevertheless many, even of the authorities, believed in Him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human glory more than the glory that comes from God.
 

Today's Devotional

I was raised in a non-religious household. While my mom believed in Christ, my dad did not. We listened to Gospel music on Sunday morning but that was about the extent of my Christian exposure. However, the message found in Gospel music and Christmas carols made me want to know more about Jesus. One year, I asked Mom for a Bible for Christmas. She was hesitant because she did not think my dad would approve. Nevertheless, I received a Bible for Christmas that year.
 
Interesting, it was not my dad who disapproved but my older brother. When he saw me with my Bible, he ridiculed me mercilessly. To avoid his mockery, I would quickly hide my Bible when he walked into the room. I did this out of fear of his ridicule, of his disapproval, and of being different.
 
The Gospel of John includes a number of stories about individuals who believed in Jesus but were afraid to confess it. Peter denied knowing Jesus as he waited in the courtyard outside the Jewish high priest. Nicodemus did not show loyalty to Jesus until after his crucifixion. Joseph of Arimathea was a secret disciple because he was afraid of the Jews. After the resurrection, Jesus found the disciples hiding behind locked doors, also because they are afraid of the Jews.
 
Fear can prevent us from claiming our Christian calling, but we can move beyond it. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea quelled their fear and publicly received Jesus’ body for burial. Peter left the locked room and boldly proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah on the Day of Pentecost. The rest of the disciples, in their own ways, embraced the work for which Jesus prepared them. I finally picked up my Bible to read, study and proclaim it from the pulpit. Fear can be paralyzing but it also can be overcome.
 
--Rev. Bonnie McCord
Red Cloud-Guide Rock United Methodist Parish
bmccord@greatplainsumc.org
 
 

 

Prayer for Reflection

Take away our fear, O God. Help us to courageously follow you in faith and trust this day and always. Amen.
 
How is fear holding you back from fully embracing Christ’s call on your life?

 

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