Great Plains Daily Devotional for 4/15/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Brad Devor
Chaplain, Vitas Healthcare, Riverside, CA
Topeka District
Stephanie Seth
Chaplain Resident (CPE), St. Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, MO
Topeka District
Cyd Stein
Atchison UMC
Topeka District
Annie Ricker
Berryton UMC
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 118:14-24

The Lord is my strength and my defense;
    he has become my salvation.

Shouts of joy and victory
    resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!
    The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;
    the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”
I will not die but live,
    and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
The Lord has chastened me severely,
    but he has not given me over to death.
Open for me the gates of the righteous;
    I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord
    through which the righteous may enter.
I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
    you have become my salvation.

The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes.
The Lord has done it this very day;
    let us rejoice today and be glad.

Today's Devotional

Stones are precious, strong and useful in building stable structures which are meant to be everlasting. I agree with architects and builders on how important it is to lay a solid foundation in building homes and different structures. I marvel at the home my parents built in 1977. This property was developed on a mountaintop.  Passersby admire this beautiful home design from afar. I grew familiar with the structures of the home and never appreciated the stonework which formed the foundation. There was this huge stone which was lambasted and set on the western side of the foundation walling. The builders were very strategic in designing “the beautiful home.” This particular unique stone at one of the foundation corners bolstered the layout of the construction.

I thought about our scripture context as I zoomed on the Psalmist’s view of the rejected stone by the builders. “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.” (Psalm 118:22-23).

The rebuke, condemnation, accusation of Jesus during Holy Week and Good Friday are akin to what the Psalmist refers to when he writes about the rejected stone. I am struck by how the Psalm says, “stone which the builders rejected...” It means that this particular stone was overlooked, undermined, dispersed, devalued, discriminated, and even rebuffed. Honestly, this was a precious stone for our salvation from sin. This stone carried substance, best quality of human life and was a cornerstone of great value and honor.

Well, we pardon the rejecters of this precious stone because they acted in ignorance. God once said, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) God allowed his only son to be rejected, humiliated for our sake. For me, it heightens the depth of God’s love to sacrifice his son to the level of torture he endured. God’s power was fully demonstrated on the hilly mount of Golgotha.  The denunciation of Jesus was marred with pain and suffering. Still, he was “Great cornerstone of our salvation.” I imagine that had Jesus not gone through this rejection, perhaps our own journey to salvation might have missed something of substance to hold on to.

Easter season brings us joy, courage and hope through all the current challenges we all experience in our faith walk. The good news of Easter is seen in the mandate of building God’s Kingdom.  The toughest task was completed by Jesus through his death and resurrection. Our obligation is to take advantage of God’s gift to us and serve on this solid foundation as we equip saints for the work of ministry. Remember the words of Paul when he said, “According to the commission God given me, like a skilled master builder I laid the foundation, and another man is building upon it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For none can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:10-11). Easter people are hard workers in building on the foundation of the rejected stone which has become the cornerstone of our redemption. We attest saying, “This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

Lastly, Easter offers the best invitation to the broken challenged world. I cherish Apostle Peter’s words of invitation to the first century Christians when he said, “Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God’s chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into spiritual houses, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2: 4).

Can we learn something from Apostle Peter? He denied Jesus at a critical moment, went back fishing leaving the other disciples questioning Peter’s attitude. He later understood what the Psalmist prophesied many decades back before Jesus’ death and resurrection. “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”

-Rev, Ever Mudambanuki
United Church of Bennington and Solomon Yoked Parish
emudambanuki@greatplainsumc.org
 

Prayer for Reflection

O God teach us to build your Kingdom on the strong foundation Jesus Christ. Remind us daily to stand upon Jesus Christ who is the Rock of our salvation. Amen.
 

 

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