Great Plains Daily Devotional for 3/19/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Jeanie Leeper
Bruning UMC
Davenport UMC
Shickley UMC
Prairie Rivers District
Anny Kapundu
Genoa UMC
Monroe UMC
Silver Creek UMC
Prairie Rivers District
Vern Olson
Belgrade UMC
Cedar Rapids UMC
Fullerton Community UM/Pres USA Church
St. Edward NE UMC
Prairie Rivers District
Susan Murithi
St. Paul NE UMC
Prairie Rivers District

Today's Lectionary Text

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Today's Devotional

A year ago today, Jacob Martin (UMCM Washburn) and I were driving students home from our spring break service-learning trip at the McCurdy Ministries Community Center in Espanola, NM. It had been a good week of service, learning, and great fellowship. An impactful time for us to connect as two campus ministries on rival campuses.

As the week progressed, we began to hear more and more about social distancing and sheltering in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From our service-learning bubble in New Mexico this all seemed a bit surreal. As our week was coming to a close word came that spring break would be extended an additional week and that classes would not resume meeting in person.

Toward the close of our time at McCurdy, Jacob and I discussed forgoing our plans for excursions with the students on the way home. We decided we needed to travel safely and speedily back to Kansas, so that they students could begin to make their way to their respective home as needed. When I think back about that trip home, it seems like a lot of time has passed since then.

In the months that closed our the spring semester of 2020 we navigated the troubled waters of ministry with the university community during a pandemic. Mixed within the challenge of doing this was the celebration of trying new things, exploring new ways to engage young adults, and the ever changing landscape of a high learning curve as campus minister.

Our somewhat novice attempts at digital ministry have become more refined in the last year. I know our student staff has worked hard to keep our core group of students connected, to keep those students on the fringe of what we do engaged, and to meet and invite young adults are fresh to Emporia into campus ministry. I am thankful for the work and faith commitment of Braden, Delaney, Shane, Kate, and Jaylie during this season of their college life.

I often like to start prayers with the words, God our help in ages past and our hope for the years to come. To say the last year has been a challenging time would be an understatement upon an understatement. Worldwide 2.64 million persons have died from the Corona virus. We have felt this toll deeply in the United States with over 530,000 deaths. There are few aspects of our common life that have not been effected by the pandemic. And yet, as people of faith we know that God is faithful. God has shown us God's faithfulness in the past, and God will faithfully guide us through this time into what comes next. It all is just a matter of time.

-Rev. Kurt Cooper 
Emporia State Campus Ministry

Prayer for Reflection

Creator God, Sustaining Spirit, Redeeming Christ, We come before you as people who grieve this day. People who have experienced loss. The loss of family and friends. The loss of jobs and relationships. The loss of things we deeply desired to do but cannot. God, we are so deeply thankful for your presence among us during this time of grieving. Your solidarity gives us strength to face the next day. We continue to pray for healing during this time God. For those whose bodies are broken and for those whose spirits have been crushed. Share with us corporately your healing presence this day. Pull us forward toward your the horizon of your realm. Place our feet on firm ground and grant us with strides that step toward justice and mercy. Keep us safe. Reshape our hearts that we may grow in our discipleship of your son Jesus Christ. Christ the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Christ who calls us into relationship so that we might grow in our love You O God and our love of our neighbor. All this we ask in your name this day, as we navigate the days ahead. Amen.


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