Great Plains Daily Devotional for 5/23/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Pittsburg: Grace UMC
Parsons District
Elgin, KS UMC
Sedan UMC
Wauneta, KS UMC
Parsons District
Redfield UMC
Stark UMC
Parsons District
Toronto UMC
Parsons District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

O Lord, how manifold are your works!
    In wisdom you have made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
    creeping things innumerable are there,
    living things both small and great.
There go the ships,
    and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

These all look to you
    to give them their food in due season;
when you give to them, they gather it up;
    when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
    when you take away their breath, they die
    and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit,[a] they are created;
    and you renew the face of the ground.

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works—
who looks on the earth and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
    I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    for I rejoice in the Lord.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord!

Today's Devotional

Today is Pentecost. A day for celebration in the church. A day when, all too often it seems, we enjoy the feeling of celebration without taking time to examine just what God has done for us. The temptation is always to focus on the passage from Acts 2 that describes what happened on that morning 50 days after the Resurrection. But the Psalm for today draws me into thoughts of how God has always provided for our needs through his wondrous works – whether those needs are physical or spiritual.
The same God who sent forth the Spirit to create all the creatures of the sea and whose glory the psalmist proclaims, sent that Spirit through a room where the doors and windows were closed – and touched each person in that room on the day of Pentecost. In that act the Church of Jesus Christ was born. Those in the room went rushing out into the streets to tell anyone who would listen about Jesus and of God’s glory.
Nearly 2000 years later congregations come together to celebrate Pentecost as the birthday of the church. We wear red to represent the flames that danced on the people. We sing songs about the Holy Spirit. Maybe we even indulge in a birthday cake or cupcakes – at least for the children – to illustrate the importance of the day on the church calendar. But what we often forget is the impact of the event on those first Christians. They didn’t celebrate with red clothes or birthday cake. They celebrated by rushing out to tell the world about what God had done for them through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They gave glory to God in front of thousands of people.
When was the last time we celebrated the Pentecost by leaving the sanctuary to rush into the streets proclaiming the glory of God to the world? I know that when I leave worship today, I will be rejoicing because Pentecost is so much different this year in the church that I attend than it was last year when we were worshiping online only. Might this be the year that I take my celebration of Pentecost into the streets? Might it be the year for you to do so?
                                                                                                --Rev. Robbie Fall, retired elder

Prayer for Reflection

Holy God, help us to remember that Pentecost celebrates your Holy Spirit moving us to leave the safety of the sanctuary and proclaim your glory in the world. Amen.


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