Great Plains Daily Devotional for 4/5/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Carl Ratcliff
Valley United Faith Community
Missouri River District
Everett Lerew
Waterloo UMC
Missouri River District
Doug Olson
Nehawka: First UMC
Netawaka UMC
Weeping Water UMC
Missouri River District
Bailey Amtower
Easton UMC
Lansing: Crossroads UMC
Kansas City District

Today's Lectionary Text

1 Corinthians 15:35-49

But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have when they come back?”  Look, fool! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t come back to life unless it dies. What you put in the ground doesn’t have the shape that it will have, but it’s a bare grain of wheat or some other seed.  God gives it the sort of shape that he chooses, and he gives each of the seeds its own shape.  All flesh isn’t alike. Humans have one kind of flesh, animals have another kind of flesh, birds have another kind of flesh, and fish have another kind.  There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. The heavenly bodies have one kind of glory, and the earthly bodies have another kind of glory.  The sun has one kind of glory, the moon has another kind of glory, and the stars have another kind of glory (but one star is different from another star in its glory).  It’s the same with the resurrection of the dead: a rotting body is put into the ground, but what is raised won’t ever decay.  It’s degraded when it’s put into the ground, but it’s raised in glory. It’s weak when it’s put into the ground, but it’s raised in power. It’s a physical body when it’s put into the ground, but it’s raised as a spiritual body.

If there’s a physical body, there’s also a spiritual body. So it is also written, The first human, Adam, became a living person, and the last Adam became a spirit that gives life.  But the physical body comes first, not the spiritual one—the spiritual body comes afterward.  The first human was from the earth made from dust; the second human is from heaven.  The nature of the person made of dust is shared by people who are made of dust, and the nature of the heavenly person is shared by heavenly people.  We will look like  the heavenly person in the same way as we have looked like the person made from dust.
 

Today's Devotional

Baseball season started last week, and with it comes the annual feeling of genuine enthusiasm and optimism — and hope. The mere idea that “this could be our year” is felt with each sound of a glove popping from a 90 mph pitch and the goosebump-inducing crack of a wooden bat when a hitter connects with that pitched ball.

It’s a new beginning, a fresh start. What happened in the past is forgotten. The weaknesses of last year’s team don’t matter. A team at the bottom of the standings a year before can rise to the top. Most importantly, losses last year are turned back to zero to start the new season. It’s why that opening day — that single day — is so highly anticipated each year.

Paul, in his first letter to the believers in Corinth, is trying to help his audience members understand that they also can experience something new, thanks to Jesus Christ.
We all are doomed to a physical death. Regardless of gender, wealth, race or any other measuring stick we use to compare ourselves in this life, we all face death.
That is, a physical death.

Paul points out that “a rotting body is put into the ground, but what is raised won’t ever decay. It’s degraded when it’s put into the ground, but it’s raised in glory.”
As Christians, we are just one day removed from the grandest celebration of the year. Jesus conquered death and opened the gates to an eternal paradise for all of us. His resurrection is the most crucial component of our faith. But Jesus didn’t do that just for himself. Instead, Jesus died on the cross and resurrected back to life so that all of us can do the same. Our spirits have much to look forward to long after our physical bodies return to dust.

We will lose our lives in this world. That much is certain. But as believers in the Risen Christ we will, like Jesus, be raised in glory! Like a team starting a new season, all of our losses and shortcomings will be reset to zero.

That’s a new beginning! That’s a cause for genuine enthusiasm! That’s cause for optimism and hope!

That’s why we are an Easter people 365 days a year.
 
 
 
   — Todd Seifert, director of communications
tseifert@greatplainsumc.org
 
 

Prayer for Reflection

Gracious God, we are thankful for the gift of grace. We give praise for helping us to remember that we are an Easter people not just on a single Sunday but every day we live on this earth. Help us to share the good news and bring hope to even more, new Easter people.
 

 

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