Great Plains Daily Devotional for 5/19/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Elk Falls UMC
Grenola UMC
Longton UMC
Moline UMC
Parsons District
Erie Federated Church
Galesburg UMC
St. Paul, KS UMC
Parsons District
Fall River UMC
New Albany UMC
Severy UMC
Parsons District
Fredonia: First UMC
Parsons District

Today's Lectionary Text

John 16:16-24

Some of Jesus’ disciples said to each other, “What does he mean: ‘Soon you won’t see me, and soon after that you will see me’ and ‘Because I’m going to the Father’? What does he mean by ‘soon’? We don’t understand what he’s talking about.”

Jesus knew they wanted to ask him, so he said, “Are you trying to find out from each other what I meant when I said, ‘Soon you won’t see me, and soon after that you will see me’? I assure you that you will cry and lament, and the world will be happy. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman gives birth, she has pain because her time has come. But when the child is born, she no longer remembers her distress because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. In the same way, you have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and you will be overjoyed. No one takes away your joy. In that day, you won’t ask me anything. I assure you that the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Up to now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive so that your joy will be complete.

Today's Devotional

Soon. I remember car rides with my family and always asking my parents “How much longer?” They would respond, “Oh just a few minutes.” In my mind these “few minutes” lasted HOURS. It might have just been 15 minutes or half an hour, but really my parents were saying, “It will be here soon.”
Soon is sort of one of those vague terms that gets thrown around. It’s like when no one wants to set a time or date. “We’ll see each other soon.” And then it ends up being many months. As someone who likes to set timed dates and plans, I could understand the disciples’ questioning. “Soon? How soon? Like two minutes or five weeks or a year? WHAT DOES SOON MEAN?”
Jesus has just told the disciples He would not be with them for very much longer and I’m sure they want to be prepared in any way possible, so they could emotionally prepare for the loss of their friend. But rather than set a date, Jesus reassures them how their mourning and grief will become joy. How they might be sorrowful today, but the next there will be celebration.
I think this is one of those moments where Jesus is focused more on the heavenly and the divine mission. He is not concerned with what day of the week all the events will take place, but rather on the fact that God is doing amazing things. God is bringing about a new creation where the tears of yesterday are wiped away because God’s grace flows through the earth.
As many of us wait for the return to “normal” life, post pandemic, I think the answer is “soon.” And soon might be in the small glimpses each day: friends and family getting the vaccine and sharing hugs. Eating outside at a favorite restaurant. For God’s love and joy for us is here, right now. It is truly soon.
-Maddi Baugous
Pastoral Intern
First United Church Omaha

Prayer for Reflection

Loving God, may we always know your joy and love are here. Turn our sorrow in to joy, whenever, however, and in your wonderful name. Together we pray. Amen.


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