Great Plains Daily Devotional for 4/18/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Hector Sanchez
Holton: Evangel UMC
Topeka District
Kelly Sipes
Holton: Evangel UMC
Topeka District
A.G. Turner
Holton: First UMC
Topeka District
Young Won
Horton: First UMC
Netawaka UMC
Whiting UMC
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Did you notice the

holy reflection of each thing

in the universe?

 

Each plant, shrub, flower

and tree, table, lamppost, and

buildings small and tall.

 

When the sun is high

detailing is exquisite

all-inclusive replication!

 

So why should anyone

dwell long in the place which

changes each time clouds

float over the sun?

 

Or why would any

of us judge and cry,

“Am I the only one?”

 

Welcome and blessings

Replicator of Beauty

Thank you, Revealer!

Today's Devotional

This week my attention was drawn to shadows. The sun was at just the right place in the sky to accentuate details in the shadows of the small trees. And then, when we took a night walk around the pond when the moon was in the new phase, the shadow of the three of us walking single file, appeared like images of the Magi portrayed on Epiphany!

Often, I want to stuff the shadowy sides of life down and hide from them. But this day it is apparent that I need to view them more clearly and even welcome them.

Although the apostle Thomas has historically been the poster child of shadows and disbelief, his record has been redeemed in recent years. Some think he should be our poster child of faith instead. He didn’t turn away from Jesus but actually volunteered to touch his wounds. It’s impressive! That is not an easy thing to do, but the invitation is there when we seek to grow in our relationship with God.

Showing hospitality to the Christ in our world must be all-inclusive if it is to mean anything at all. Like Jesus taught, it’s easy to love those you like, but more difficult to love those who have caused us pain and difficulties. This week I’ve learned more about Benedictine hospitality while at the spiritual retreat center near Schuyler, NE. Hospitality involves food and drink, conversation, caring of others, and seeing the goodness in them and within ourselves so that we can live in a more peaceful space.

In the post-resurrection appearances, Jesus entered the room with the words, ‘Peace be with you.” His words were few but were just what was needed in order for people to get beyond their fears, come out of the shadows, and find healing. So simple, yet just right. “Peace be with you.”

Peace goes beyond needing a quieter environment. I recall my mother exclaiming, “all I want is some peace and quiet!” That desire was often unmet in a houseful of five children and adding on neighborhood friends, and a dog and cat. At any time, children or pets could be chasing one another! Sending us outside to play was the most common solution, no matter the weather. Even now, I send myself outside to find peace and quiet in nature.

All too often a sense of peace can be elusive. It may have nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with inner struggles. On the other hand, there can be a breaking point in which we give in and release our troubles to God. Astonishingly, in the midst of everything going south, a sense of peace overwhelms us! I’ve certainly experienced this at times when those dear to me have died, during health struggles, before important exams, and when I’ve felt most unsure of the next step to take.

Hear Jesus say, “Peace be with you.” No matter what the struggles of the past or present, the fears you carry, or difficulties with forgiveness. Know that peace can flow through you as surely as it flows through all of creation. Breathe in the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. You are worthy. You are safe.

Receive the peace.

Rev. Marta Wheeler
Omaha St. Paul Benson

mwheeler@greatplainsumc.org

 

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