Great Plains Daily Devotional for 4/12/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Jayna McFarland
GP Communications Social Media & Website Specialist
Topeka District
Nathan D. Stanton
Great Plains Congregational Excellence Director
Topeka District
Donna Ernest
Great Plains Congregational Excellence Administrative Assistant
Topeka District
Nicole Conard
Great Plains Congregational Young Adult Leadership Coordinator
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 4:7-8

You have put gladness in my heart
    more than when their grain and wine abound.

I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

Luke 24:36-43

While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.

 

Today's Devotional

For about 42 years, or as long as I have lived in Kansas, I have marveled each spring at redbuds as they bud and open to gorgeous blossoms. WOW! I returned home to Wichita a few days ago and I was struck again by the sheer beauty of those trees, made even more beautiful as they appeared on the tallgrass prairie, green beginning to erupt on top of burned off ground. Such stunning examples of New Life made me smile in sheer joy. As I drove, I was aware of a deep peace.

New Life was appearing in the routine and every day, that which happens year after year after year. Every year Easter, too, happens. Sometimes it might seem routine, like “We did this last year, but time to do Easter again.” Somehow, in driving that day the trees and prairie combined to be more lovely than I had ever noticed before. Maybe it was because I was coming from a different direction or it could have been the time of day or the exact point in the growing cycle that made it looked different. It does not matter what or why. What matters is the newness of the experience. Once again hope emerged in a new way with the resurrection experience. Joy came to me. A smile popped out and it led to a sense of profound peace. God was present, for sure.

What is important about seeing in a new way redbuds blooming or noticing grass growing on the prairie is that in a similar way the resurrection can appear in our hearts in new ways. The process of New Life coming happens every year. Each year, though, it is slightly different. We are reminded that over the past year changes have occurred. The hope that accompanies resurrection enters a different world. We need to respond in different or changed ways. Our responses should fit the conditions during the current time.
 
This year has brought progress in battling COVID. However, such progress for some persons emphasizes that others do not have access to the vaccine, or to health care in general. How can I help with this situation?

As I rejoin in-person at worship, some of my faith community are still not feeling safe or comfortable enough to be in the sanctuary. What needs to happen in order that they might feel a part of their community of faith? Can I contribute in some way to that effort?

Our world has not eradicated racism or sexism or ageism over this past year of COVID isolation. Is God calling me to speak out on one of these issues? Young people continue to need education. Teachers are daily working extra hard to help education happen in a variety of ways. How might I encourage educators? What could I do to enhance the learning of children and youth?

God loves this world and cares about each one of us. In the midst of our everyday ruts and routines we can bask in that love and rejoice in the New Life offered to us. As we live in the peace and joy of resurrection, we can move to spread that gift of God’s love to others who may have forgotten it or never known it. Let’s each make that challenge our own during these weeks after Easter this year.
-Rev. Dianne Tombaugh
Retired Elder

Prayer for Reflection

Loving God, Thank you for the gift of New Life. Make me aware of the reminders of that gift each day and help me notice where I can help to spread it to this hurting world. Amen
 

 

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