Great Plains Daily Devotional for 5/26/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Eva Vennah Mudambanuki
Bennington, United Church of
Solomon Yoked Parish
Salina District
Bill Gies
Brookville UMC
Salina District
Les Ellis
Burr Oak: First UMC
Salina District
Earl Haggard
Cawker City UMC
Glen Elder UMC
Salina District

Today's Lectionary Text

Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath[a] to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath[b] in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath:[c] Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath,[d] and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”

Today's Devotional

Today is probably the closest I have ever come to submitting a devotional and I am sure Lisa was probably wondering what she was going to do for tomorrow. 

As clergy session was closing, I was looking at lectionary texts and listening to the bishop and his closing words for all the clergy.  My phone was telling me texts were coming in from friends across the conference and one specific friend here in Hutchinson who has a very misguided understanding of my ministry.  In the midst of the messages, the congratulations of provisional candidates, new elders, and just checking in with colleagues I was reminded of the Valley of the Dry Bones. 

Ezekiel is tired, he sees the valley and I am sure he is not sure what God is calling him to do.  But he listens to the voice of God and follows instructions. 

Every time I read this scripture, I see in my mind a grand Hollywood epic with all the latest technology.  Watching sinew, muscle, and flesh attach to those dry bones.  Imagining that army of people that God is reviving for service. 

We have been through the ringer over these last 15+ months many of us are tired of hearing about unprecedented times, wondering about vaccine rates, questioning how we can move forward.  But in the midst of this I am reminded that just a few days ago we celebrated Pentecost and how the Holy Spirit came down on all the disciples, we celebrated Aldersgate Day where John Wesley’s heart was strangely warmed after he VERY reluctantly attended that worship meeting on Aldersgate street.  Where he realized that even HE could be saved. 

We continue to live out our calling, we see the church moving in fantastic ways.  Embracing online worship, creating discipleship opportunities in Zoom classes AND now coming back slowly into the sanctuary.  We strive to rebuild connection, we want to hug one another, shake hands, and see peoples faces.  Through it all we are reminded that the Holy Spirit can reinvigorate us, recharge us, and fill us with that peace that surpasses all understanding. 

May you feel God’s presence today, tomorrow, and into the days ahead and know that God is GOOD!!!!!

 

-Rev. Jeff Goetzinger
Little River and Mitchell Chapel UMC's

jgoetzinger@greatplainsumc.org

Prayer for Reflection

Holy God, we come to you looking for whatever we need, energy, hope, love, compassion, or something else.  We know that your Holy spirit continues to walk with us, that your love is eternal, and that through faith in Jesus Christ we are continuing to follow the call to connect with our neighbors, to feed the hungry, to walk with those in need, and most of all to fill all of us with your love.  In Jesus’ holy name we pray, Amen



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