Great Plains Daily Devotional for 3/5/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Kathy Harmon
Harveyville UMC
Flint Hills District
Joyce Allen
Junction City: Church of Our Saviour UMC
Flint Hills District
Dirk Weiss
Junction City: First UMC
Flint Hills District
Joohyun Moon
Junction City: Korean UMC
Flint Hills District

Today's Lectionary Text

Genesis. 2:18

It’s not good that the human is alone. I will make him a helper that is perfect for him.” 

Today's Devotional

I am currently using a book titled, A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God for my morning devotional time with God. One of the reflection readings, Sarah Parsons talks about the power of vulnerability to “achieve a form of real power – the power to ask for help when needed.” Though I agree with her statement, as I reflect on it, I can’t help but feel how hard this is for us in our American culture. To show vulnerability is to show weakness, and weakness is not a virtue in our society.

As Americans we pride ourselves on our ability to work hard, to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and make something of ourselves, even when everything seems to go against us. The American dream is that anyone, no matter who they are, or where they came from, can achieve great things if they just work hard enough. To ask for help, goes against this ideal, because it means that we weren’t able to live into this dream, we didn’t work hard enough. How many times have we seen a politician rail against a social welfare program because they don’t want to give someone a “handout” even if it means helping them get back on their feet (the recent debate over extending unemployment benefits comes to mind). The underlying assumption is that if you need help, you must have done something to get yourself there, you were weak. Of course, for anyone who has ever fallen on hard times knows, it’s not always that simple. There are many reasons why folks may need help.

I believe our pride in our individual ability to work hard and accomplish anything, is one of our chief sins of this country. Not only is the American Dream a lie, especially for those who are not white (though there are always exceptions), we can’t always be strong, and we weren’t meant to go it alone anyway. Two passages in scripture come to mind. First in the book of Genesis we are told, “It’s not good that the human is alone. I will make him a helper that is perfect for him.” (Gen. 2:18, CEB) The second comes from Acts 2:42-47, where we are shown this picture of the early church working together, sharing everything, so that the community would thrive.

In working together, we can achieve far more than we could ever do alone. Asking for help and relying on others is far from weakness. It is one of the greatest strengths in the world, because this is what God intended. If we are going to have pride in anything, it should be pride in our ability to be vulnerable, and to ask for help, cause honestly, in this culture, it shows real strength to go against the status quo.

-Rev. Curt Magelky
Lincoln: St. Luke 
cmagelky@greatplainsumc.org

 

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