Great Plains Daily Devotional for 9/21/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Kansas State University Campus Ministry
Flint Hills District
Admire UMC
Allen, KS UMC
Miller, KS UMC
Flint Hills District
Alma, KS UMC
Paxico McFarland UMC
Flint Hills District
Alta Vista: Simpson UMC
Dwight UMC
Flint Hills District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 98

O sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
    have gotten him victory.
The Lord has made known his victory;
    he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
    to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
    the victory of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
    break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
    with the lyre and the sound of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
    make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
    the world and those who live in it.
Let the floods clap their hands;
    let the hills sing together for joy
at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
    to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
    and the peoples with equity.

Today's Devotional

Many of you will recognize that Psalm 98 is the Psalm upon which Sir Isaac Watts based his famous hymn “Joy to the World”. Many of you will also know that Marcia McFee has developed an Advent series around the theme of Joy, celebrating the great joy of the birth of our Savior Jesus. When I used this series for Advent a few years ago, I saw the theme of one Sunday was Unabashed Joy. There are many words in the English language of which I do not use often and one such word is unabashed. I generally know what it means, and I have seen it used in many novels but have rarely used it myself. In preparing for that Sunday, I found that abashed means to be restrained or inhibited by circumstances or by someone else, so unabashed means to be free of restraint, free to express oneself with joy. I began to think of ways in which there was unabashed joy exhibited in the Christmas story, that was easy, but I also wanted an example from my life today to use, and I found the picture above on my phone.

The church had a Day at the Ballpark, watching the Omaha Stormchasers play. The forecast indicated we could get rain during the game, but the whole family enjoyed the day, with my granddaughters enjoying all the fun possible besides baseball. The clouds around us finally let loose with a downpour, just one out away from being a regulation game. When the rains came, all the adults scrambled for cover, trying to pick up all the possessions they had brought and trying to keep electronics dry. Many people left for their cars, but we stayed hoping the game could continue and most of us were wet and a bit grumpy about it all - but not my granddaughters as they played in the puddles and stood under downspouts and had the time of their lives, so I believe my picture captured their unabashed joy.
I do believe the participants in the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary, and the witnesses, the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks, and anyone else who was present, knew unabashed joy, an incredible love sent down to us by God. I share my unabashed joy in the birth of Jesus and what he means in my life, and I have unabashed joy in my grandchildren as well.

-Rev. Galen Wray
Retired Elder

Prayer for Reflection

Creator God, you have gifted us with great love and great joy as you sent Jesus down to us. May we fully embrace the unabashed and uninhibited love you sent not only at Christmas but every day of our lives. Amen.


Shared Prayers

View Prayer Requests

Submit a Prayer Request

Tools for your Prayer Life

This Week's Lectionary
This Week's Liturgical Color