Great Plains Daily Devotional for 8/17/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Russell Trinity UMC
Hays District
Sharon Springs UMC
Hays District
Agra UMC
Kirwin UMC
Smith Center UMC
Hays District
Logan UMC
Long Island UMC
Stockton UMC
Hays District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 84:1-4, 10, 12

How lovely is your dwelling place,
    O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
    to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
    my King and my God.
Happy are those who live in your house,
    ever singing your praise.Selah
For a day in your courts is better
    than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than live in the tents of wickedness.
O Lord of hosts,
    happy is everyone who trusts in you.

Today's Devotional

What a beautiful day it had been. I had gotten to spend the whole day in the dwelling place of the Lord. My heart and my flesh were singing for joy to God.

The drive from my home in Wichita to Longford, KS, on to Clay Center after lunch, and now back to Wichita was through lush, green rolling countryside that teemed and vibrated with life. I was aware of the Creator’s presence all around. Thank you, God!

At Longford I met dear friends for lunch. Between delicious, nourishing food and over an hour of rich conversation, catching up, and sharing God fed me completely. Give thanks to the Source of it all.

Then, we traveled to the home of my friends in Clay Center. What a treat to get to go through this home new to them and to bask in the way it reflected just who these friends truly are. These dear people genuinely trust in God. Their home is a house of God. It filled me, as an honored guest, with great thanksgiving for God’s good gifts. Yes, I had spent the day in the dwelling places of the Lord.

We often assume “the dwelling place of the Lord” was the Temple or is the synagogue or sanctuary today. True. Those places were and are dwelling places of the Lord. For me the sanctuary of my church is a place where God’s presence is palpable. It offers a haven, a safe place, and it brings me energy as I seek to live in the wider world that often feels overrun with wickedness. It shelters me from that world and restores my being and my identity as a child of God. Inside such a dwelling place I am safe from the world.

Yet God has other dwelling places as well, places where it is clear that the Lord of the Universe is present, that bring safety and give renewed strength. Those places vary for each of us, but they are there.

Such safety and resting and a very real looking out for me are vital to my faith journey and to my life as a disciple.  Every once in a while I need to just sit in sacred space. Without such moments, hours, even days, I have no business moving out into the world in Jesus’ name. I will not be working for God. When I do remember that the landscape through which I drive, the presence of dear ones, a home filled with focus on God and others can all be manifestations of God’s dwelling place, then I am prepared to serve in ways that will impact the world and bring it closer to becoming the kin-dom of God here on earth. Let’s do both -- dwell and serve. Yes, thanks be to God!
-Rev. Dianne Tombaugh
Retired clergy

Prayer for Reflection

Today show me where you dwell. Fill me with your presence. Let me be renewed. Then, send me out into the needy world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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